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.
Frank Tough is head of the Native Studies Department at the University of Saskatchewan.
In As Their Natural Resources Fail, historical geographer Frank Tough has mounted a powerful argument for bringing economic history back into the analysis of Native peoples' experience. ... his analysis is founded on a rich and diverse theoretical literature; and his persuasive exposition and argument are buttressed with a large number of maps, tables, charts, and pictorial illustrations. ... his arguments demand attention and respect. As Their Natural Resources Fail is an impressive work that no postsecondary institution that takes Native history seriously will fail to include in its library.
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.
... uncovers some of the misconceptions within current anthropological, sociological and historical writing pertaining to Aboriginal peoples in subarctic North America. His meticulous research and attention to archival documents provides new insights into the ways in which international financial capitalism and paternalistic government policies impacted on the Aboriginal peoples of North America ... a harsh but realistic look at the alienation of Aboriginal peoples from their lands and resources.... richly illustrated .... a fascinating book .... He has achieved a level of analysis and comprehension of international market forces and Indian Department politics that is unparalleled in the literature. His book should be required reading for anyone interested in the history of Aboriginal peoples in the 19th and 20th centuries.