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The People Who Own Themselves: Aboriginal Ethnogenesis in a Canadian Family, 1660-1900

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 06/04/2015 - 8:27am

Heather Devine
978-1-55238-426-8 (Institutional PDF)
$39.95 CAD / $45.95 USD
358 pages
10 maps, 15 b/w illustrations, index
May 2012


About the Book: 


The search for a Métis identity and what constitutes that identity is a key issue facing many Aboriginals of mixed ancestry today. The People Who Own Themselves reconstructs 250 years of Desjarlais family history across a substantial area of North America, from colonial Louisiana, the St. Louis, Missouri, region, and the American Southwest to Red River and Central Alberta. In the course of tracing the Desjarlais family, social, economic, and political factors influencing the development of various Aboriginal ethnic identities are discussed. With intriguing details about Desjarlais family members, this book offers new, original insights into the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, focusing on kinship as a motivating factor in the outcome of events. With a unique how-to appendix for Métis genealogical reconstruction, this book will be of interest to Métis wanting to research their own genealogy and to scholars engaged in the reconstruction of Métis ethnic identity .

About the Author(s): 

Heather Devine is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Calgary and is a researcher in various fields, including Canadian Native history, Western Canadian ethnic history, museum and archival studies, and public history.

Winner, 2004-2005 Harold Adams Innis Prize for the best English-language book in the social sciences (Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences -- Aid to Scholarly Publications Programme)