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Mistress of EverythingQueen Victoria in Indigenous Worlds$
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Sarah Carter and Maria Nugent

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781784991401

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784991401.001.0001

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‘The faithful children of the Great Mother are starving’: Queen Victoria in contact zone dialogues in western Canada

‘The faithful children of the Great Mother are starving’: Queen Victoria in contact zone dialogues in western Canada

Chapter:
(p.78) Chapter Three ‘The faithful children of the Great Mother are starving’: Queen Victoria in contact zone dialogues in western Canada
Source:
Mistress of Everything
Author(s):

Sarah Carter

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781784991401.003.0003

Through a focus on the Saulteaux of the St. Peter’s settlement in western Canada, this chapter explores the mobilization of Queen Victoria by both the colonized and the colonizers in a series of “contact zones” over the nineteenth century. The Saulteaux confronted fur traders, missionaries, soldiers, settlers, and government officials, and in these encounters they produced, developed and honed a tradition of oratory that incorporated references to Victoria. They called on the monarch’s representatives to act with honour, justice, and integrity, and to defend them against settler pressure and oppression. Declarations of fealty to the Queen were accompanied by sharp criticism of the failure of her representatives to provide the just and humane treatment promised. In dialogues with Indigenous people, settler authorities represented Victoria as a benevolent maternal monarch, particularly at treaty negotiations where the equality and kinship ties of the parties was emphasized. Settlers also deployed the image of a compassionate Queen and her loyal Indigenous subjects as this was at the heart of the myth of Canada’s reputation as humane and benign colonizers.

Keywords:   Western Canada, indigenous people, Queen Victoria, treaties, diplomacy, kinship

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