Cree (Nêhiyawak) Mobility, Diplomacy, and Resistance in the Canada-US Borderlands, 1885 - 1917
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This thesis examines the borderlands history of the Cree (nêhiyawak; primarily under Chief Little Bear) from 1885 to 1917. It combines archival research, digital mapping (GIS), ethnohistory, and data analysis to track Indigenous movements and to analyze how the Cree navigated their status as “foreign” Indians. It focuses on Cree transnational mobility, diplomacy, and resistance from the events of 1885 at Frog Lake, North-west Territories, to the eventual creation of the Rocky Boy Reservation and its membership roll in 1917. This research determines not only how the border affected the lives of the Cree, but also how the Cree created the borderlands in which they lived. I argue that although the Cree suffered from substantial hostility, violence, and dislocation, they successfully worked within and challenged restrictive colonial notions of land and nationhood imposed by the international border. Finally, this thesis argues that the shifting and haphazard ways colonial regimes defined Indigenous identities created fissures in pre-existing community and kinship structures that continue to create challenges for these communities.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeSmith, Marth; Englebert, Robert; Kalinowski, Angela; Wheeler, Winona
Copyright DateAugust 2019
19th century history