Archive - Dec 2009 - Oct 2016

Friday, 20 April 2018

Colleagues List, April 22nd, 2018

Vol. XIII No. 41 


Wayne A. Holst, Editor
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Dear Friends:

We focus on a distinctly Canadian theme in this issue of Colleagues List. My book notice is entitled: "Metis Pioneers" and is about the special contribution of two Metis women through their service to their people in two regions of Western Canada.

Recognition of the rights of Canada's Metis people has been slow, but that now seems to be developing. This book helps us better understand their story. The Metis contributed and continue to contribute much to our country. If you want more background on them please click:

Other sections of Colleagues List are included as usual.

Thanks for reading.



Book Notice -

Marie Rose Delorme Smith and
Isabella Clark Hardisty Lougheed

Two Remarkable Metis Women's Lives
During the Prairie West's Transition
From the Fur Trade

by Doris Jeanne MacKinnon,
University of Alberta Press, Mar. 2018
2018. 556 pages. Paper. $40.00 CAD.
ISBN #978-1-77212-271-8

Publisher's Promo:

In Metis Pioneers, Doris Jeanne MacKinnon
compares the survival strategies of two Metis
women born during the fur trade—one from the
French-speaking free trade tradition and one
from the  English-speaking Hudson’s Bay
Company tradition—who settled in southern
Alberta as the Canadian West transitioned
to as sedentary agricultural and industrial

MacKinnon provides rare insight into their lives,
demonstrating the contributions Metis women
made to to the building of the Prairie West.

This is a compelling tale of two women's acts of
quiet resistance in the final days of the British Empire.

Backstory on Metis in Canada


About the Author  - Doris Jeanne MacKinnon

Doris Jeanne MacKinnon was born on a farm in
northeastern Alberta and attended school in the
historic town of St-Paul-des-Métis. She has a PhD
in Indigenous and post-Confederation Canadian
history. An independent researcher and post-
secondary instructor, she lives in Red Deer, Alberta.


Author's Words:
Marie Rose Dorme Smith was born in the Red River colony in 1864 (in what is today Manitoba). Isbella Clark Hardisty Lougheed was born in 1861 to Metis parents. She spent most of her younger years in the Northern Mackenzie district (NWT/Upper Alberta). Because of her marriage to James Lougheed, she settled in Southern Alberta (Calgary). Both women, in public at least, attempted to subsume their Metis ethnicity into a larger European community.

The comparison of these women may, at the beginning, seem illogical because the first was of French Metis, and the second of Anglo Metis ancestry; but it is now agreed by scholars that Metis identity should not be narrowly defined. It was diverse but inclusive. With this modern understanding, both women qualify as Metis, in other words.
Indeed, both women were linked to indigenous people, and both showed themselves to be intelligent, resourceful and strong women whose lives are living testaments to the role of Metis women to the construction of the Prairie West.
The changing social landscape (of) the fur trade was coming to a close at the end of the nineteenth century. When Alberta became a province in 1905, all Indigenous people, including Metis, would eventually be relegated to occupying small tracts of land. All Indigenous people, including Metis, were increasingly seen as uncivilized, and unsuited for success as farmers and business people in the emerging capitalist society.Questions about Metis identity created challenges. Were they mixed blood, where they Indigenous, to which community did they belong, did they belong to all or were they forever to reside between other peoples, and would subsequent generations be less Metis and more Euro-North American?
(Few scholars have ventured to more closely describe the differences between various kinds of Metis groups. For the two Metis women in this study, identity was much more complex than the place (e.g. Red River or Alberta) from which they emerged. The fact is, there was a silence about Metis identity in their own lives and how they defined themselves. It is difficult to research Metis backgrounds in comparison to those of various European cultures. Still, biography is important in the study of all women's history, and - increasingly - for less well-known women for whom written documentation is hard to find. Biography is an important way to define women of that era. It tends to be much easier to write biographies of the men of the time. So, a study like this attempts to go beyond the traditional biographies of that period. Biography of "great women" does not tend to exist; but stories of the lives of women of that century are certainly accessible.)
Many Metis women were forced to define their identities in environments that were increasingly Anglocentric. Their work involved raising their children, and the unpaid service work they undertook; work that is so critical in organizing and maintaining social institutions as new societies emerge. They formed business partnerships that helped their families negotiate and succeed in the changing economy.
In the end, both women in this study felt the need to suppress or repackage the Metis identity and culture that had sustained both of their fur trade families (with whom they maintained ties) and that, in many ways, continued to sustain them.

- from the Introduction


My Thoughts:
What Doris Jeanne Mackinnon, the author of this book does not say specifically above, but which I find most valuable, is that the two Metis women she writes about were playing a major role in a process of cultural evolution that is still unfolding in Canada today. Indigenous people of all kinds - First Nations, Inuit and Metis - are finally having their human rights recognized in Canadian society. This is happening through such developments as the recent Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. The cultural bridging demonstrated by the two women subjects of this book is both evident and significant.
While "cultural assimilation" may be a term used by some to describe their contribution, I would prefer to call it "multi-cultural progress" where individual cultures can retain distinct characteristics, yet become part of the unique and larger societal experiment that is Canada today.
Recognising the special role that the Indigenous people have to contribute to the making of Canadian history and society is only beginning to dawn on many of us.
This book helps to fill a significant gap in the process of understanding that history.
It is now more than twenty years that I first became aware of the existence of Metis people in the cultural mix that is Canada. Many of us had for years been concerned about the human rights of First Nations and Inuit peoples. The Metis were off the radar screen for many of us. Gradually, however, I became aware of them, as several Metis church leaders began to speak out at conferences and in the media. It comes as a great personal satisfaction to hear their story being told through efforts such as this book represents.
The voices for justice that first began to be heard in the churches as far back as the 1980's seem now to be proclaimed in society as a whole.
I must admit to some surprise when I read in Metis Pioneers that James Lougheed's wife was Isbella Clark Hardisty Lougheed, a Metis. She would have been the grandmother of Peter Lougheed, a pillar of Alberta politics. While Isabella may have "subsumed" her Metis ethnicity in her day, that same Metis ethnicity is becoming a matter of growing pride in modern Canadian society - along with all the other Indigenous ethnicities.
Given the social stigma accorded mixed race people all over the world, I am proud that, in Canada, that "stigma" has been evolving as an asset.
Granted, we still have a long way to go, but we are at least on the way to a new period of enlightened Canadian society.
Thanks to the unsung contributions of women like Marie Rose and Isabella and many others, we have the opportunity to engage a new history in the making. If you have an interest in this exciting chapter of Canadian progress, I encourage you to secure this book.
Buy the book from

From the University of Alberta Press:



Jim Taylor,
Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
April 18th, 2018

"Earth Day and Goddess Worship"


Mark Whittall,
Ottawa, ON

Sermons and Blog
April 14th, 2018



John Stackhouse, Jr.
Moncton, NB

April 16th, 2018

"First, Let's Get a Few Things Straight"


Martin Marty,
Chicago, IL

April 16th, 2018

"Papal Polarities"


Ron Rolheiser,
San Antonio, TX.

Personal Web Site,
April 16th, 2018
"Moral Outrage"



Investigating a Traditional
Christian Belief System

Religion News Service,
April 18th, 2018


Controversial Issue in a Muslim Country

La Croix International
April 19th, 2018


Land of Gandhi Needs to Get It's House in Order

La Croix International
April 19th, 2018

"Rape and Murder of 8 Year Old Girl
  Challenges India's Secularism"
  UCA News, April 17th, 2018

"Tamil Christians Protest Against Harassment, Violence"
  UCA News, April 18th, 2018


A Presentation About Inclusion
and Resilience in Canada Today

U Today,
April 19th, 1018


Will This Be His Last?

Religion News Service,
April 13th, 2018


Claims the Problem Resolved, However
April 15th, 2018

Seventy-Fifth Anniversary
Religion News Service,
April 19th, 2018

They are Having Second Thoughts
After Trump and #MeToo Movements

Religion News Service,
April 19th, 2018

"Evangelical Leaders Discuss
  Future of Movement at Wheaton"

  Religion News Service,
  April 17th, 2018


Supporting Contemporary
Socialistic Values
UCA News,
April 20th, 2018


New Leadership, Young Population

BBC News
April 17th, 2018



From Sojourners and the Bruderhof online:
I am the product of many whose lives have touched mine,
from the famous, distinguished, and powerful to the little
known and the poor.
- Dorothy Height

We are all born / so beautiful / the greatest tragedy is /
being convinced we are not

- Rupi Kaur


Do you know what a foreign accent is? It’s a sign of bravery.

- Amy Chua


The most beautiful experience we can have is the
mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands
at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever
does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer
marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.

- Albert Einstein


The earthly-minded person thinks and imagines that
when he prays, the important thing – the thing he must
concentrate upon – is that God should hear what he is
praying for. And yet in the true, eternal sense it is just
the reverse: the true relation in prayer is not when God
hears what is prayed for, but when the person praying
continues to pray until he is the one who hears – who
hears what God is asking for.

- Søren Kierkegaard


It is not only prayer that gives God glory but work.
Smiting on an anvil, sawing a beam, whitewashing
a wall, driving horses, sweeping, scouring, everything
gives God some glory if being in his grace you do it
as your duty. To go to communion worthily gives God
great glory, but to take food in thankfulness and
temperance gives him glory too. To lift up the hands
in prayer gives God glory, but a man with a dung fork
in his hand, a woman with a slop pail, give him glory
too. He is so great that all things give him glory if you
mean they should. So then, my brethren, live.

- Gerard Manley Hopkins


Inspection stickers used to have printed on the back,
“Drive carefully: the life you save may be your own.”
That is the wisdom of men in a nutshell. What God
says, on the other hand, is, “The life you save is the
life you lose.” In other words, the life you clutch, hoard,
guard, and play safe with is in the end a life worth little
to anybody, including yourself; and only a life given
away for love’s sake is a life worth living. To bring this
point home, God shows us a man who gave his life
away to the extent of dying a national disgrace without
a penny in the bank or a friend to his name. In terms of
men’s wisdom, he was a perfect fool, and anybody who
thinks he can follow him without making something like
the same kind of fool of himself is laboring not under
a cross but a delusion.

- Frederick Buechner

Do you know what a foreign accent is? It’s a sign of bravery.



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