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340 The Canadian Historical Review encounters with non-aboriginals; the history of government coercion; ways in which the St6:lo have entered the world of the Xwelitem ('hungry people' or whites); and a discussion of the current legal regime concerning land and resources. The most penetrating chapter, however, is the last, which concerns the 'relevance of oral traditions to contemporary society.' Much of the chapter, and indeed the entire volume, bears the intellectual imprint of Albert 'Sonny' McHalsie, a St6:lo chief and researcher, who has attempted over several years to sensitize the various contributors to the underlying concepts of St6:lo epistemology, to the nuance of history. McHalsie's careful, path-breaking research into St6:lo place names reveals St6:lo understandings of place, events, and relationships among groups and ultimately provides the beginnings of a history from the St6:lo vie"Wpoint. Yet You Are Asked to Witness is not informed by St6:lo concepts of history and has not taken the big step imperfectly attempted by Georges Sioui in his work, For an Amerindian Autohistory. This volume, which the St6:lo Nation has called upon the mainstream society to witness, is not fully of their own making. With time, they may produce such a book. BRUCE G. MILLER University of British Columbia Homeland to Hinterland: The Changing Worlds of the Red River Mitis in the Nineteenth Century. GERHARD J. ENS. Toronto: University of Toronto Press 1996. Pp. xv, 268, illus. $s5.oo This book is a revised version of Ens's doctoral dissertation for the University of Alberta in 1989, supervised by the late John Foster. For the record, I became aware of Ens's work while he was still a graduate student. I invited him to work with me on a consulting project for the federal Department of Justice, and we went on to publish an article together . If our previous relationship colours this review, the reader can take it into account. Rivers of ink have flowed over Metis history, and on many topics there is little new to be said, but this book is genuinely innovative. For the first time, an author has systematically applied the statistical methods of demography and economic history to the study of the Red River colony. Ens's main technique is family reconstitution. Focusing on the two largest Red River parishes - St Andrew's (English) and St Frarn;:ois Xavier (French) - he uses his database to integrate family information taken from parish registers with census data on land occupancy and cultivation. Ens has also used North-West scrip records Book Reviews 341 to compile a database about Metis who left Red River before 1870, thus fashioning a tool to study migration. Weaving these data together with the historian's usual primary sources, Ens gives a new and more precise version of Red River history . Up to about 1840, the Metis, both English and French, lived a peasant existence, combining subsistence agriculture and hunting. But in the 1840s, American trading posts were established in the Dakota Territory, making possible large-scale commerce in buffalo robes. The Metis, particularly the French, responded by entering a phase of protoindustrialization based on family labour, in which the men hunted buffalo , and women and children processed the meat and robes. The demographic data show that, in the period from about 1840 to 1870, the French Metis of St Franc;ois Xavier outstripped the English Metis of St Andrew's in both family size and infant life expectancy, even as the French were reducing their cultivated acreage. They were earning higher incomes from the buffalo-robe trade, which led to improvements in health and longevity. But the buffalo hunt also weakened their ties to Red River, because they had to pursue their quarry at ever greater distances, leading them to winter on the prairie and eventually to settle there. This tendency accelerated in the 1870s when the buffalo hunt shifted much farther west, causing massive emigration from St Frarn;ois Xavier and other French parishes. The half-breeds of St Andrew's and the other English parishes, less involved in the buffalo hunt, were more likely to remain in Red River. In Ens's portrait, the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 340-342
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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