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Edited by Jacqueline Peterson and Jennifer SH. Brown. Winnipeg, University of Manitoba Press, c1985. 266pp, cloth, $25.00, ISBN 0-88755-134-3. (Manitoba Studies in Native History #1). CIP

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Robert Wieler

Volume 14 Number 6
1986 November

A century ago, in 1885, dreams of creating a new nation for the Metis of the Canadian West died with the hanging of Louis Riel in Regina. Much as been written about the role of Riel and the Métis at Red River and in the Northwest. But, in The New Peoples, the editors, Peterson and Brown, have chosen a collection of twelve essays that view the origins, problems, and culture of various groups of Metis people in a broader perspective.

Most of the essays in the book were papers presented at a conference on the Métis in North America, held at the New-berry Library in Chicago in 1981. They are well organized into four parts. Essays in Part I deal with the difficult problem of defining the term "Métis," and in tracing their complex and diverse roots. The essays in the second part focus on surviving communities of Métis outside the traditional area around Red River; in northern Quebec, in western Alberta, and in Montana. The tensions and options that have confronted people of mixed ancestry are examined in Part III. One paper of particular interest is a study of the family of Alexander Ross, a Scot who married an Indian woman and raised a family of twelve at Red River. Part IV examines Métis art and culture.

The editors are both university professors who have a special interest in social history. The New Peoples is a noteworthy book in that it provides studies about the origins and problems of the Métis people to supplement the well-documented accounts of Metis resistance at Winnipeg and in Saskatchewan. The book is well bound and contains more than twenty pages of maps and pictures. The New Peoples is a useful resource book for teachers and students at the high school level in the areas of anthropology, sociology, or history.

Robert Wieler, Glenlawn C.I., Winnipeg, Man.
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