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Further Reading and Resources

Much of the history of Alberta’s First Nations and Métis is still unwritten, but there is enormous interest in this area and new books and articles are being published every month. One of the most promising new trends in this area is the publication of more and more material by people of Aboriginal descent. Perhaps the best overall survey of the history of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples, and a good example of this trend, is Olive Dickason’s, Canada’s First Nations: A History of Founding Peoples from Earliest Times (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1997) 2nd edition. Another recent publication that offers insight into the experiences of a Cree woman from central Alberta is Emma Minde, Kwayask ê-kî-pê-kiskinowâpahtihicik = Their example showed me the way : a Cree woman's life shaped by two cultures; edited, translated and with a glossary by Freda Ahenakew & H.C. Wolfart (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, c.1997). Some other insightful books written by Aboriginal people about their history and personal experiences include Joseph Dion, My Tribe, the Crees (Calgary, Glenbow, 1979), Maria Campbell, Halfbreed (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1979), Peter Erasmus, Buffalo Days and Nights (Calgary: Fifth House, c.1999), and Norbert Welsh and Mary Weekes, The Last Buffalo Hunter (Saskatoon, Fifth House, 1994).

There are several books written for general readers, rather than specialist researchers, that outline the main cultural and historical features of First Nations in Alberta or western Canada. Hugh Dempsey’s Indian Tribes of Alberta (Calgary: Glenbow, 1979) is still useful, although some sections have been superseded by new research. Donald Ward’s, The People: a historical guide to the first nations of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba (Saskatoon, Fifth House, c.1995) is a brief, but very accessible survey as well.

Hugh Dempsey has also written a number of biographies of important leaders of Alberta’s First Nations including Red Crow, Crowfoot, and Big Bear. His Charcoal’s World: the true story of a Canadian Indian’s last stand (Calgary:Fifth House,1998) is worth reading for insight into the troubled period after the signing of the treaties.

There several good books on treaties and treaty-making in Alberta. Richard Price’s The Spirit of the Alberta Indian Treaties (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1999) includes many useful articles and testimony from elders about their understanding of the meaning of the treaties. Another book, focused on Treaty 7, also incorporates oral traditions and testimony from elders. It is Treaty 7 Elders and Tribal Council, with Walter Hildebrandt, Sarah Carter and Dorothy First Rider, The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7 (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1998). For Treaty 8, Rene Fumoleau’s book, As Long As This Land Shall Last: A History of Treaty 8 and Treaty 11 1870-1939 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, n.d.) is still an insightful analysis.

A number of journals including Alberta History and the Native Studies Review regularly publish articles on the history of Aboriginal peoples. There is also an extensive literature on related subjects found in archaeological, anthropological, legal, and native studies journals.


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Last Updated September 20, 2000 by DM