Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
This paper is primarily concerned with historical memory, and how native peoples remember the events of their history. The paper consists of an analysis of the ways in which the Métis, a native group in Western Canada, have articulated a distinctly Métis narrative of history through their efforts to regain control of a place called Batoche, their ancestral capital and the site of their greatest military defeat in 1885 at the hands of the Canadian army. Since 1925, the Canadian government has owned the battlefield site, and attempted to monopolize the interpretation of the site’s history, focusing on the Battle of Batoche as a “vanishing point” for Métis history. The Métis, to counteract this narrative, have developed their own distinct understanding of the events at Batoche, one which emphasizes Métis continuity and survival, and focuses on the Battle of Batoche as a starting point, rather than an endpoint for the Métis struggle for rights and recognition in Canada. I argue that the Métis have, over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries, successfully challenged the “settler narratives” that place Batoche as the site of “Canada’ s Last Indian War” and a vanishing point for the Métis. In challenging these narratives, the Métis have laid the groundwork for a decolonized Métis future at Batoche as well.
Thomas, Brendan, ""Back to Batoche: Métis History and Memory 1885-2015"" (2018). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1253.
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