(based in Saskatoon). In addition, it has been supported, financially or "in-kind," bysome twenty agencies and organizations both in Canada and the United States,ranging from the Canadian Museum of Civilization to the University of MontanaCenter for the Rocky Mountain West.
The compilation has been motivatedby a concern for the state of MetisStudies both in Canada and the UnitedStates. Although written by and primarilyfor scholars, it is presented in a way thatensure its interest to a broad generalreadership; indeed, the goal of fosteringa better understanding of the issues andprospects of Metis Studies in the largercommunity is implicit in the undertaking.In general, the balance between thesetwo objectives has been successfullymaintained.
The first section of the book comprises a sort of "state-of-the-art" review of Metishistoriography. This assessment is premised on the claim that, until recent years,that historiography written in the main by "Euro-centric males" - had been biasedand limited. It focused on individuals, and on political, social, and military topics,ignoring almost completely such matters as language, religion and spirituality,women, oral traditions, and on. The entry in recent years of Metis scholars from arange of disciplines has, it is argued, started to set that account aright, both inbalance and scope; on the basis of their work, it is clear the area need no longerremain an incomplete and biased appendix to the mainstream of North Americanhistoriography. The area is now in the process of being studied in its completeness.The next challenge and one, if this book is to be used as evidence, that has not beenmet as yet will be to show this revised history in its proper relationship to the"mainstream," so-called. There is an inherent danger that in reclaiming the historythe new scholars may inadvertently isolate it in yet a different way. But howeverincomplete, this present study is nonetheless a necessary and reassuring beginning.
The book itself is divided into three distinct parts, the first having to do with thecurrent state of scholarship in the field. As an initial step in this reassessment, thefirst chapter of Part One proceeds through the task of "Deconstructing MetisHistoriography," with sections devoted to the "Epochs of Metis History," "EmergingVoices of Metis Women," "Metis Identity and Community Studies," "Metis OralTradition and Spirituality," "Metis Culture and Language," "Metis Resistances andPolitical Activism," "Metis People and the Land," "Educational Resources About theMetis," "Metis Literary and Artistic Sources," "Canadian Military Service," and"Contemporary Issues". Following this overview, a series of free-standing chapters(representing the new genre of scholarship) deal with various historical issues,periods, and settings in both countries: touching on geographical settings (e.g., "TheEmergence of the Metis Nation in Manitoba," by Bruce J. Shore; and "The SpringCreek (Lewistown) Metis: Metis Identity in Montana," by Martha Harroun Foster); onindividuals (e.g.," Resistance Activist Elzear Goulet," by Todd Lamirande); on Metismusic; on the Michif language; on the clothing and decorative arts of the Metis; andon Metis perspectives in contemporary art. A very useful final chapter deals with the