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Metis and the Medicine LineCreating a Border and Dividing a People$
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Michel Hogue

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469621050

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469621050.001.0001

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Land, Treaties, and the Boundaries of Race

(p.100) Chapter Three Belonging
Metis and the Medicine Line

Michel Hogue

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter considers how borderland Metis, Indians, and federal actors in the United States and Canada negotiated questions about rights during the 1870s as older fur trade economies and the economic rationale, social patterns, and ecological conditions that had sustained them ebbed away. Two case studies examine Metis efforts to secure a permanent home in the borderlands at a moment when national claims to the region became more clearly defined. The first describes the attempts by Metis families to remain on the new Fort Belknap Indian reservation, in north-central Montana. The second explores how their Metis kin sought a place at concurrent treaty negotiations between the Canadian government and Prairie First Nations. In both instances, state efforts to assign ethnic and racial labels and to assign rights based on these distinctions made it imperative that the Metis seek state sanction for their place in the borderlands.

Keywords:   political rights, borderlands, Fort Belknap Indian reservation, Prairie First Nations, United States, Canada, ethnic distinctions, racial distinctions, state sanction

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