Social Stratification

Cree women being visited by a white lady, Athabasca Landing, 1912
Cree women being visited by a white lady, Athabasca Landing, 1912.

The Indian's idea of a house is a different one to the trader's. It is not a place to be lived in, but exists merely as a shield from the weather . . . . A thin, pock-marked squaw invites me into a shack or, more properly, into a baby warren which fairly bristles with a flock of semi-wild children, for, as yet, the squaws have not deliberately ceased from having children . . . . An unsavory mess of entrails is stewing in a back pot and filling the house with an unpleasant odour. I try not to show repugnance lest my hostesses consider the white woman to be proud-stomached with no proper appetite for lowly faring. (Note: This ethnocentric account of native life is from a 1912 observation of the Landing by Janey Canuck [pen name of Emily G. Murphy], quoted in Athabasca Historical Society 1986, 153)

Cree family outside tipi at Athabasca Landing, 1912
Half-breed money-scrip issue, Athabasca 1899.
J.A. Cote, of the Scrip Commission and Father Lacombe
The upper class of Athabasca
Two native women
The swart boatmen are the most interesting feature of the place,—tall, silent moccasined men, followed at heel by ghostlike dogs. From this point north dogs are the beasts of burden; the camel may be the ship of the desert, but the dog is the automobile of the silences. The wise missionary translates his Bible stories into the language of the latitude. As Count von Hammerstein says, "What means a camel to a Cree? I tell him it is a moose that cannot go through a needle’s eye." The Scriptural sheep and goats become caribou and coyotes, and the celestial Lamb is typified by the baby seal with its coat of shimmering whiteness. (quoted in Athabasca Historical Society, 155)
Magnus Brown commanding Métis rivermen.
Girls dressed up as RNWMP at Athabasca Landing
Lunch at survey camp, Athabasca Landing
Hugh Pearson, surveyor, Athabasca Landing
Women visiting survey camp, Athabasca Landing
Millie Hall and Louise Blane, Athabasca Landing, c. 1920s.
Nellie Young at water pump Athabasca Landing, 1912
Doctor O.C. Edwards and his tent, 1899.
Gilbert E. Sanders gathering snow to make water.
Gilbert E. Sanders dressed for moose hunt.
Surveyors in Athabasca Landing area, 1909.
Royal North-west Mounted Police, Athabasca, Alberta. 1914
Billy Day, hotel bartender, guided moose in parade, 1909.
Moose hitched to sleigh at Athabasca Landing

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