Vol 37 No. 2 (2018)
Missionaries as Interpreters: An Examination of Oblate Father Léon Doucet’s Account of the Treaty 7 Negotiations at Blackfoot Crossing in 1877 [+] 147-161
In September 1877, the Canadian government and the Indigenous peoples of the southern portion of Alberta met at Blackfoot Crossing to negotiate the agreement known as Treaty 7. Contemporary descriptions of this meeting are of great historical, legal and socio-political significance. The recent publication of the journal of Father Léon Doucet, a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate who laboured in Alberta between 1868 and 1939, has brought to light the missionary's little-known account of the Treaty 7 talks. Doucet's version of events differs from both oral histories and eye-witness statements in one important way: it recognizes Oblate Father Constantine Scollen as the chief interpreter at the negotiations. This paper will compare Doucet's version to both oral and written accounts and will suggest that Doucet's description of the Treaty 7 negotiations was influenced by his history with Father Scollen. Moreover, in 1908, Doucet began editing his notes and compiling them into a journal which was to be exhibited in a museum commemorating the Oblates. Doucet's exaggeration of Scollen's interpreter role at the Treaty 7 talks, as well as the numerous examples in the journal of the relationships fostered by the Oblates' desire to learn Indigenous languages, suggest that, in Doucet's mind, language was central to the Oblates' mission to western Canada.
Are Missionaries from Mars and Nuns from Venus? Gender Relations in the Oblate Missions of the Canadian North-west [+] 162-177
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.
Bridging Worlds: The Ambiguities of la mission ambulante with the Métis, Plains Cree and Blackfoot during the Great Transformation (1860–1880) [+] 178-205
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.
A Nun from Québec, a Métisse from Good Hope, and a Gwich’in from Peels River: Three Women’s Stories of Sickness in the Mackenzie District (1909–1925) [+] 206-223
This article outlines the stories of three women religious who lived and worked in the McKenzie Delta, in the Arctic region of the far north of Canada, in the nineteenth century. Their service took place in the context of the spread of tuberculosis. Close archival work details their response to the illness and death around them, and the suffering it entailed. An Appendix is included to give indication of the differences between the work of the missionary sisters and the physicans in the paid employ of either the North-west Mounted Police or the federal government.
Reflections from the Field
Reflections of a Principal and Supply Superintendent of Schools in the North-west Territories (1957–1966) and a Supply Superintendent of Schools in the Province of Alberta (1967–1969): A Comparison [+] 224-235
William Bock was born December 24, 1928 in Manitou, Manitoba. In 1948 Bill, as he was known, graduated from grade twelve at the Mennonite Collegiate Institute and began teaching school "on permit." In those days it was possible to teach in public schools in Manitoba on application for a permit from the provincial government, if one was to be enrolled in "Normal School"-the earliest form of organized teacher training in Canada.1 One year later, in 1949, Bill graduated from the Winnipeg Normal School. As requirements for the practice of the profession of teaching steadily increased from the 1960s onwards, Bill found himself back in the classroom as a student for quite a number of years, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the University of Manitoba in 1958. In 1961 he enrolled in the Education Administration program in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta, but found he was unable to complete it due to the responsibilities of a wife and four children to support on a limited income.
Returning to Spirit Indigenous Youth Advocate Rochelle Ledoux Molgat recently sat down with Certified Trainer Francois Paradis for a conversation. They discussed how he reconciled being a Catholic priest with Indigenous Spirituality during a time in Canada’s history when the truth of the residential school system was beginning to unfold, how he finds inspiration in Indigenous Spirituality, and why he connects so deeply with it.
Culture of Encounter: Reconciliation and Integration of the Anishinabe and the Catholic
Healing in Our Midst [+] 259-264
Megizique n’dijnicas , waswaskesh/mkwa n’dodem . My Indigenous spirit name is “Eagle Woman” and my clans are deer and bear. My baptismal name is Eva Solomon.1 Normally this is the way we introduce ourselves as well as naming the traditional lands of the Indigenous peoples on whose lands we are standing. Since this article could be read anywhere in the world, I will therefore acknowledge the Indigenous people of Turtle Island on which I stand.
Four Directions Ministry [+] 265-267
A chance encounter as a child with a First Nations boy at a local resort is probably the root of my ministry among the Indigenous. They were largely invisible where I grew up, ironically in the heart of Plains Cree country, because of the restrictive laws and paternalistic attitudes of society at the time.
Christian Animism, by Shawn Sanford Beck and Towards a Prairie Atonment, by Trevor Herriot [+] 268-270
Christian Animism , by Shawn Sanford Beck. Christian Alternative Books, 2015. vii + 51. Pb., $14. ISBN: 978-1-78279-8 and Towards a Prairie Atonment , by Trevor Herriot. The Regina Collection, Volume 5. University of Regina Press, 2016. xix + 125 pp. Hb., $22.95. ISBN: 978-0-8897-7454-4
Writing Religion: The Case for the Critical Study of Religion, edited by Steven W. Ramey [+] 271-273
Writing Religion: The Case for the Critical Study of Religion , edited by Steven W. Ramey. University of Alabama Press, 2015. xv + 246 pp. Hb., $46. ISBN: 978-0-8173-8838-6
Big Dreams: The Science of Dreaming and the Origins of Religion , by Kelly Bulkeley. Oxford University Press, 2016. 352 pp., Hb., $31.95. ISBN: 978-0-19-935153-4
Engaging the Thought of Bernard Lonergan , by Louis Roy. McGill- Queen’s University Press, 2016. viii + 239 pp. Pb., $34.95. ISBN: 978-0-7735-4707-0
Robert Holcot , by John T. Slotemaker and Jeffrey C. Witt. Oxford University Press, 2016. xxii + 359 pp. $50.75. ISBN: 978-0-1993-9125-7