Bridging Worlds: The Ambiguities of la mission ambulante with the Métis, Plains Cree and Blackfoot during the Great Transformation (1860–1880)
This article concerns the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and their interactions with the Métis, the Plains Cree and the Blackfoot in the prairie region of the Northwest. Specifically, it examines la mission ambulante or the bison hunt mission. While some historians perceived this type of mission as a form of strategy or tactic for conversion in a region that was more nomadic than settled, this article argues how Indigenous people demonstrated agency and autonomy in their interactions with the missionaries. This article seeks to define la mission ambulante as a dialogical space for the exchange of knowledge, cultural practices and world views, and also one that linked networks of communication, diplomacy, and identity in creative and often misunderstood ways.