On the prairie frontier at the turn of the twentieth century, sport represented one of the earliest social practices and sites of contact between migrant settlers and First Nations peoples. In Lethbridge, some of the first interactions between Indigenous peoples—primarily the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot)—and Euro-Canadians occurred during this period of community-building. Examining these points of exchange through understandings of contact and colonialism can disrupt existing narratives. The concept of intersectionality provides one means to assess historical relations between settlers and Indigenous peoples in the colonial-era Canadian west. Additionally, contact zones as spaces where disparate cultures interacted provide further insight into how some Indigenous athletes disrupted frontier identities attached to athletic prowess through horse racing, rodeo, and distance running. For these Indigenous athletes, the intersections where they existed often defined their sporting achievements, where the opportunity to compete revealed possibilities unavailable elsewhere in their daily lives.


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pp. 255-272
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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