Are Missionaries from Mars and Nuns from Venus? Gender Relations in the Oblate Missions of the Canadian North-west
University of Lethbridge
There is an ambivalence within the Roman Catholic Church in regard to women, tending towards seeing women as either saint or whore, with little nuance in between. Close examination of archival sources internal to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and the Grey Nuns, in the context of frontier religious environments, reveals the existence of gender relationships that are not significantly different from those of the secular world. Differences are noted in the periods prior to and following the treaty negotiations at the end of the nineteenth century. Modern scholarship serves to extend our understanding of these contexts and the relationships within them.