Book cover image for: Neighbours and Networks: The Blood Tribe in the Southern Alberta Economy, 1884-1939

Neighbours and Networks: The Blood Tribe in the Southern Alberta Economy, 1884-1939

W. Keith Regular

$34.95 CAD / $35.95 USD

261 pages, 23 illustrations

6 x 9 inches

978-1-55238-243-1 (Paperback)

978-1-55238-483-1 (Institutional PDF)

February 2009

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About the Book

Neighbours and Networks explores the economic relationship that existed between the Blood Indian reserve and the surrounding region of southern Alberta between 1884 and 1939.

The Blood tribe, though living on a reserve, refused to become economically isolated from the larger community and indeed became significant contributors to the economy of the area. Their land base was important to the ranching industry. Their products, especially coal and hay, were sought after by settlers, and the Bloods were encouraged not only to provide them as needed, but also to become expert freighters, transporting goods from the reserve for non-Native business people. Blood field labour in the Raymond area’s sugar beet fields was at times critical to the functioning of that industry. In addition, the Bloods’ ties to the merchant community, especially in Cardston and Fort Macleod, resulted in a significant infusion of money into the local economy.

Keith Regular’s study fills the gap left by Canadian historiography that has largely ignored the economic associations between Natives and non-Natives living in a common environment. His microhistory refutes the perception that Native reserves have played only a minor role in regional development, and provides an excellent example of a cross-cultural, co-operative economic relationship in the post-treaty period on the Canadian plains.

About the Author

Keith Regular teaches history and social studies at Elkford Secondary School, Elkford, British Columbia. He received a PhD in history from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1999.

Priase for Neighbours and Networks:

Regular reveals . . . interesting strategies the Kainai developed for coping with economic change.

—Kenichi Matsui, The Canadian Historical Review

Table of Contents

Tables and Maps

1: Introduction

The Literature
Theoretical Considerations
The Locale
Structures of Movement: The Reserve
Systems of Control: The Reserve
The Rural Community
For McLeod

2: ‘Free Range or Private Property:’ Integrating Blood Reserve Land Into the non-Native Economy

Introduction Initial Arraignments: The Ranching Era
The Bloods Take Control
Mixed Farming Interlude
The Bloods’ Continued Resistance
World War I and Greater Production
The Challenges of Lease
Depression and Drought

3: ‘Selling to Outsiders:’ Marketing Coal, Hay, and Freighting Services

Market Activities
The Special Efforts of Agent Wilson
The Market Responds

4: ‘All the Indians have Gone to the Beet:’ Blood Labour in the Raymond Sugar Field

The Industry: Local Evolution
The Blood’s Significance
Industry Problems
Retrospective and Conclusions

5: ‘A Prospective Citizen of No Mean Importance:’ The Bloods and the Business Community

The Merchant Environment
The Business of Debt
Businesses Cry Foul
The Department of Indian Affairs: Explanation and Reaction

6: Conclusion: Change Over Time

Notes Select Bibliography
Manuscript Sources
Official Reports
Private Holdings
Manuscript Sources
Books, Articles, and Pamphlets