Au nom du Bon Dieu et du Buffalo: Metis Lived Catholicism on the Northern Plains
Pigeon, Emilie Marie Catherine
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This dissertation argues that Metis lived Catholicism was a tool of identity formation, resistance to colonialism, and political action among bison hunters of the northern plains in the long nineteenth century. The Catholicity of Metis bison hunters quotidian is highlighted through the extensive Michif French written legacy of Turtle Mountain historian ChWeUm (William Jr.) Davis (1845-1937). Daviss biography anchors a Metis national memory, weaving stories and events from both sides of the Medicine Line. His life story and the religious experiences of his relatives come together to explain why some Metis people adhered to Catholicism and its practices. Sustained experiences of the divine helped Metis families adapt and resist the effects of settler colonialism on the northern plains, including the end of organized bison-hunting expeditions. This dissertation blends several methodologies social history, biography, ethnohistory, and social network analysis from the digital humanities to interrogate the history of Catholicism among Metis peoples.