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298 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 and reference to theoretical and comparative literature. The Circle Game spends longer explaining residential schooling in Siberia than it does examining the when, why, and how of the creation of residential schools in Canada. What is stranger still is the fact that two substantial historical analyses - a lengthy chapter of the Final Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) and a monograph published by University of Toronto Press - became available in 1996. While Chrisjohn and his colleagues quote survivors' accounts collected by RCAP, they make no reference to its final report until appendix F. In any event, the history which the authors ignored now has passed them by. Not only did the ReAP deal with many of these issues, but the government of Canada early in 1998 joined with the Assembly of First Nations to craft an apology to survivors of residential schools and a $350 million fund for healing some of the damage that they have suffered. No doubt the authors of The Circle Game will view this step as a continuation of the practice of medicalizing and individualizing the response to the problem. In any event, the more than three thousand individual lawsuits that have already been launched by victims of residential school abuse ensure that the proper approach and the optimum response to the problems created by residential schools will continue to be debated by Canadian scholars, politicians, and commentators. (J.R. MILLER) Morgan Baillargeon and Leslie Tepper. Legends ofOllr Times: Native Cowboy Life University of British Columbia Press/Canadian Museum of Civilization. x, 254ยท $38.95 Legends of Our Times works an irresistible twist on childhood games of cowboys and Indians: What kid armed with cap pistol or rubber tomahawk ever dreamed of playing an Indian cowboy? But in recent years a number of historians have been at pains to document the long ranching tradition among the western tribes in the United States and Canada, and Legends of Our Times, which accompanies an exhibition of the same name mounted by the Canadian Museum of Civilization in 1998, contributes to that effort. This is a workmanlike book dressed up in fancy clothing - a plain text, with sidebars, documents, maps~ and many illustrations in black and white and colour. It is divided into three parts. The first explores the special relationship that existed between, on the one hand, the indigenous peoples of the plains and plateau and, on the other, horses, buffalo, and nature's other four-legged creatures. The second outlines the history of Native stock-raisingin the Canadian West, notingthe longMetis involvementwith cattle and the continuing importance of ranching in the interior of British Columbia. The federal government in the late nineteenth century con- HUMANITIES 299 sidered grazing secondary to agriculture as a means of advancing Indian assimilation and encouraging self-support on the plains, but the tradition stuck there as well. The third, and longest, section discusses Native involvement in Wild West shows and in rodeo and other forms of 'playing cowboy.' Indians made good cowboys, the authors contend, because they had experience driving herds ofbuffalo, were excellentequestrians with an intimate knowledge of horses and horsebreeding, and were familiar with the land on which the cattle grazed. These propositions are offered by Morgan Baillargeon and Leslie Tepper, respectively the curators of Plains and Plateau Ethnology at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, in a straightforward manner free of academic jargon Of, for that matter, much emotion. Occasionallyone wishes their text would rise to the artistry of some of the objects shown - an 1842 decorated horse robe, a 1994 Ruth Edmonds Western style shirt, a Thomas Pierre inlay silver mounted ring bit, a gorgeously beaded Kutenai baby board, a Jackson Sundown horsehair bridle - or convey the giddy pleasure captured in the photograph of Keith and Lorna Shuter on their wedding day, Lornain Keith's arms kicking up a cowboy-booted heel and letting out a yippee-yi from all appearances. Ifthe text is earnest rather than inspired, it is enlivened with a sprinkling of short testimonials by Native ranchers and rodeo cowboys and a selection of readings at the end ofeach section by mostly modern storytellers, songwriters, and poets. Some...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 298-299
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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