Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

'As Their Natural Resources Fail': Native Peoples and the Economic History of Northern Manitoba, 1870-1930

Document type Book
Author Tough, Frank
Publisher UBC Press; Vancouver, BC
Date 1996
ISBN 978-0-7748-0531-5
Pages xvi, 376 pages: illustrations, maps


In conventional histories of the Canadian prairies, Native people disappear from view after the Riel rebellions. In a fresh departure from traditional studies, Frank Tough examines the role of Native people, both Indian and Metis, in the economy of northern Manitoba from 1870 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 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, and lumbering. 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. --Publisher's description