ur trade and conflict were taking men away more regularly from Indigenous communities and thus leaving women in positions of necessarily greater authority
The right to leave an unsatisfactory marriage, for starters. The Jesuits—who saw marriage as a lifetime commitment—were appalled by the freedom with which Indigenous women abandoned husbands who were regarded as poor providers or partners.
by 1650 they were submitting en masse to “the domination of their husbands and fathers.”
his took place over about thirty years, the period during which the Jesuits were most active. The missionaries ascribed their success in creating this change—in manifesting the kinds of relationship they saw as ideal within Christian societies—to the calamitous social trauma caused by intensified conflict with the Haudenosaunee and exposure to epidemic diseases. Women who resisted conversion were defeated by repeated losses of kin to raids and pestilence. Wendat women in particular stood against any proposed change in their culture that would weaken their pivotal roles as clanmothers and decision-makers, bu
The work that women invested in the production/processing of pelts and hides put them at the centre of the fur trade relationship. They were able to influence the terms of trade from their community’s side, and a remarkable number of goods obtained from Europeans—copper pots, knives, sewing needles, blankets—either served women’s specific needs or liberated them from the production of equivalent goods. In communities such as those on the Northwest Coast, where potlatching rituals marked clan and household status—something in which women in these societies had a huge stake—whatever women could do to secure more and better goods for potlatching was a worthy project. To that end, women regularly entered into marital relationships with non-Indigenous (or, in some cases, Indigenous but not local) men. Doing so could secure gifts, a supply line of imported goods, better prices, and higher quality.
rrangements of this kind were fluid, more so than was the case in settler society. The partners could sever the marriage (usually a common-law union à la façon du pays) so as to take up with a different partne
In this way, some women in “fur trade society” came to remarry a series of fur trade men and thus became more deeply woven into the fabric of the industry than any other participants
produced generation after generation of fur traders
1876 Indian Act
Under the Act, women gained “Indian status” through their fathers and husbands. This meant that a non-Indigenous woman could acquire status by marrying a man who held status. The flipside of the coin is that any woman with status who married a non-status person would lose her status.
The partners could sever the marriage
so as to take up with a different partner.
Glasp is a social web highlighter that people can highlight and organize quotes and thoughts from the web, and access other like-minded people’s learning.