The Free People/ Li Gens Libres

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-04-01
  • Publisher: Michigan State Univ Pr
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Revised and expanded to include new research, a discussion of new interpretative trends and a review of new literature since the publication of the first edition in 1990, The Free People Chr(45) Li Gens Libres is a comprehensive history of the Meacute;tis community & national historic site of Batoche, Saskatchewan. Diane Payment has a long personal association with Batoche. Her study is the culmination of over twenty years of documentary and field research as a participant-observer within the community. Her inquiry draws on a range of dictated and written historical sources, both Meacute;tis and non-Meacute;tis, as well as more recent oral history narratives and personal observations. This is one of the few studies on Meacute;tis communities in western and northern Canada. Payment's approach demonstrates that any understanding of Meacute;tis culture cannot be based on European or Euro-Canadian historical models, but on its own values and traditions. She provides new insights into the armed resistance of 1885 and figures such as Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont and Charles Nolin, as well as women such as Marguerite Caron and Christine Pilon. Payment argues that Batoche has persisted as a community despite conflict, crisis and prejudice from immigrant ethnic groups and institutions such as the Canadian government and the Roman Catholic Church, succeeding in maintaining its uniquely Meacute;tis identity.

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