Women in Between

In: Historical Events

Submitted By smittrac
Words 1835
Pages 8
Course Code: HIST 200
Instructor: Dr. Jim Wood
Student # 1011080
Date: March 25, 2012

“Women in Between”: Indian Women in Fur Trade Society in Western Canada”, written by Sylvia Van Kirk assesses the lives of Indian women in the fur trade. The article expresses both the positive and negative aspects of being an Indian woman in the fur trade as well as their motives for marrying European fur traders. The article contributes to our understanding of the fur trade society by focusing on the motives and actions of Indian women in the fur trade which furthers our knowledge of Canadian history prior to confederation.

Sylvia Van Kirk used a vast selection of sources when writing the article on the Women in Between. The article references other similar writings of Indian history using various articles, books, journals and bibliographies to gather information and data. This article is referenced in other similar writings as she as well has drawn some excellent conclusions from her own research. Since much of the documented history of Indian women is written by men observing the situation and circumstances it is difficult to determine how viable the sources are. It seems that some of the sources contradict whether the situations of these women were positive or negative or whether they had anything to gain. Some sources explain that many of these women willingly looked for these alliances as their ability to gain higher status in society was superior.
Other sources indicate that Indian women, who remained in their own societies, had important roles and significant political and social impact.
This article gives a great overview of the lives of Indian women and their role in the fur trade. Sylvia Van Kirk does lean towards the argument that these alliances were generally positive and that Indian women had much to gain. She does however, recognize…...

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