As Their Natural Resources Fail: Native Peoples and the Economic History of Northern Manitoba, 1870-1930 by Frank ToughAs Their Natural Resources Fail: Native Peoples and the Economic History of Northern Manitoba, 1870-1930 by Frank Tough

As Their Natural Resources Fail: Native Peoples and the Economic History of Northern Manitoba, 1870…

byFrank Tough

Paperback | March 7, 1997

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In conventional histories of the Canadian prairies, Native people disappear from view after the Riel Rebellions. In this groundbreaking study, Frank Tough examines the role of Native peoples, both Indian and Metis, in the economy of northern Manitoba from Treaty 1 to the Depression. He argues that they did not become economically obsolete but rather played an important role in the transitional era between the mercantile fur trade and the emerging industrial economy of the mid-twentieth century.

Tough reconstructs the traditional economy of the dynamic fur trade era and examines its evolution through reserve selection and settlement, scrip distribution and the participation of Natives in the new resource industries of commercial fishing, transportation, lumbering, and mining. His analysis clearly shows that Native people in northern Manitoba responded to the challenge of an expanding market economy in rational and enterprising ways, but that they were repeatedly obstructed by government policy.

Numerous interpretive maps, figures, and illustrations provide indispensible aids to Tough's argument. His book will be essential reading for anyone interested in the history of western Canada and the role of Native people in the post-fur trade era.

Frank Tough is head of the Native Studies Department at the University of Saskatchewan.
Title:As Their Natural Resources Fail: Native Peoples and the Economic History of Northern Manitoba, 1870…Format:PaperbackDimensions:392 pages, 9.02 × 5.98 × 1.1 inPublished:March 7, 1997Publisher:Ubc Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774805714

ISBN - 13:9780774805711

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from native history at its best Using a succinct, jargon-free style, Tough explores the economic history of an all but forgotten but nevertheless important period of Native history in Northern Manitoba. The author expertly utilizes secondary and historical sources to document the details and nuances of the all-important treaty-making process of the 1878s. Tough is at his best when he documents the trials and tribulations experienced by various native bands as they were forced to adjust to European immigration, capitalist expansion and agricultural development. Throughout, the author reveals the tensions, contradictions and the dependent relationship that inexorably developed between the Federal Government and various native bands of the region. The study is not only a great historical read, but puts the present day aspirations of Manitoba's native peoples into an historical perspective that all can appreciate. The book is neither "pro-native" or "anti-government", seeking instead to further our understanding of a very complex relationship in a balanced manner. The book also reinforces the urgent need on the part of governments to deal honourably with native land claims not only in Manitoba but elsewhere in Canada.
Date published: 2000-09-23

Table of Contents

Illustration, Figures, and Tables




1 “To Look for Food Instead of Fur”: Local Economies - Indian Bands and Company Posts

2 “The Only Remedy Is the Employment of Steam”: Reorganizing the Regional System

3 “Dependent on the Company's Provisions for Subsistence”: The Decline of Kihchiwaskahikanihk (York Factory)

4 “To Be Shut Up on a Small Reserve”: Geographical and Economic Aspects of Indian Treaties

5 “Lands Are Getting Poor in Hunting”: Treaty Adhesions in Northern Manitoba

6 “Terms and Conditions as May Be Deemed Expedient”: Metis Aboriginal Title

7 “Go and Pitch His Camp”: Native Settlement Patterns and Indian Agriculture

8 “Nothing to Make Up for the Great Loss of Winter Food”: Resource Conflicts over Common-Property Fisheries

9 “A Great Future Awaits This Section of Northern Manitoba”: Economic Boom and Native Labour

10 “They Make a Comfortable Living”: Economic Change and Incomes

11 “Wait until Advancing Civilization Has So Interfered with Their Natural Resources”: Surplus Labour, Migrations, and Stagnation

12 “The Fish and Waters Should Be Ours”: The Demise of Native Fisheries - Regulation and Capitalization

13 “Civilizing the Wilderness Will Affect Us”: The Demise of the Hudson's Bay Company and the Re-Emergence of Competition

14 “And Now That the Country Has Gone Mining Crazy”: Industrial Capital, Native People, and the Regional Economy



A. Fur Trade Productivity and Prices: Stagnation and Revival

B. Summary of Treaty Terms (Written Version)

C. Some Land Scrip Intricacies Notes Index

From Our Editors

Native people disappear from conventional Canadian prairie histories after the Riel rebellions. 'As Their Natural Resources Fail' examines Indian and Metis economic roles in northern Manitoba from 1870 to the Depression. Frank Tough reconstructs and examines the evolution from traditional fur trade economy to an emerging industrial economy. Using numerous maps, figures and illustrations, his analysis clearly shows that northern Manitoba's natives responded rationally to the expanding market economy's challenges, but were repeatedly obstructed by government policy.

Editorial Reviews

A vibrant explanation and analysis of the considerable role northern Manitoba peoples played in shaping their own destiny. Based on rich primary sources, hitherto untouched, Tough’s study invites the examination of serious students of native studies and dependency theory. - B. M. Gough - Choice