Born of encounters between Indigenous women and Euro-American men
in the first decades of the nineteenth century, the Plains Metis
people occupied contentious geographic and cultural spaces. Living
in a disputed area of the northern Plains inhabited by various
Indigenous nations and claimed by both the United States and Great
Britain, the Metis emerged as a people with distinctive styles of
speech, dress, and religious practice, and occupational identities
forged in the intense rivalries of the fur and provisions trade.
Michel Hogue explores how, as fur trade societies waned and as
state officials looked to establish clear lines separating the
United States from Canada and Indians from non-Indians, these
communities of mixed Indigenous and European ancestry were
profoundly affected by the efforts of nation-states to divide and
absorb the North American West.
Grounded in extensive research in U.S. and Canadian archives,
Hogue's account recenters historical discussions that have
typically been confined within national boundaries and illuminates
how Plains Indigenous peoples like the Metis were at the center of
both the unexpected accommodations and the hidden history of
violence that made the "world's longest undefended border."