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 Featured Title
French Canadians, Furs, and Indigenous Women in the Making of the Pacific Northwest
Jean Barman  

$95.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 9/17/2014
ISBN: 9780774828048    

$39.95 Paperback
Release Date: 2/1/2015
ISBN: 9780774828055    

472 Pages


About the Book

Winner, 2015 K. D. Srivastava Prize, UBC Press

Winner, 2015 Sir John A. Macdonald Prize, Canadian Historical Association

Winner, 2015 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Book on British Columbia, UBC Library

In French Canadians, Furs, and Indigenous Women, Jean Barman rewrites the history of the Pacific Northwest from the perspective of French Canadians involved in the fur economy, the indigenous women whose presence in their lives encouraged them to stay, and their descendants. Joined in this distant setting by Quebec paternal origins, the French language, and Catholicism, French Canadians comprised Canadiens from Quebec, Iroquois from the Montreal area, and métis combining Canadien and indigenous descent. For half a century, French Canadians were the largest group of newcomers in this region extending from Oregon and Washington east into Montana and north through British Columbia. Here, they facilitated the early overland crossings, drove the fur economy, initiated non-wholly-indigenous agricultural settlement, eased relations with indigenous peoples, and ensured that, when the Pacific Northwest was divided in 1846, the northern half would go to Britain, giving today's Canada its Pacific shoreline. In the generations that followed, Barman argues, descendants did not become Métis, as the term has been used to describe a people apart, but rather drew on both their French Canadians and indigenous inheritances to make the best possible lives for themselves and those around them.

About the Author(s)

Jean Barman is a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia.

Table of Contents


Part 1: French Canadians and the Fur Economy

1 To Be French Canadian

2 Facilitating the Overland Crossings

3 Driving the Fur Economy

4 Deciding Whether to Go or to Stay

Part 2: French Canadians, Indigenous Women, and Family Life in the Fur Economy

5 Taking Indigenous Women Seriously

6 Innovating Family Life

7 Initiating Permanent Settlement

8 Saving British Columbia for Canada

Part 3: Beyond the Fur Economy

9 Negotiating Changing Times

10 Enabling Sons and Daughters

11 To Be French Canadian and Indigenous

12 Reclaiming the Past



Works Cited



"This tour de force charts in both broad strokes and careful detail the impact of French Canadian men and their Aboriginal wives and families on the transformation of the Pacific Northwest. It is a model of extensive and deep research, combined with judicious and sophisticated analysis."
-- Carolyn Podruchny, author of Making the Voyageur World: Travelers and Traders in the North American Fur Trade

"The history of French Canadian fur trappers in the northwest, often mentioned in local state histories, here crosses national and cultural borders to include their interactions with indigenous peoples and stories of travels from eastern Canada to Oregon and British Columbia. This book is an essential forensic history for all people who trace their ancestry to the fur trade era of the Pacific Northwest."
-- David G. Lewis, PhD, Tribal Historian, Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon

"Barman's feast of historical and genealogical data on French Canadians in British Columbia forces the reader to ponder their absence in previous BC histories, and reinforces the position of French Canadians as one of the founding peoples of that province."
-- Maurice Guibord, Société historique francophone de la Colombie-Britannique

Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter [PDF]

Related Topics

Aboriginal Studies
BC Studies
Women's Studies
History > Canada

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of French Canadians, Furs, and Indigenous Women in the Making of the Pacific Northwest from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
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M3H 5T8

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Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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