• E-Books
  • Office of Scholarly Publishing
  • Latest Catalogs
  • Books for Courses
  • Exhibits Listing
  • View Cart

About the Book

Stay Connected

Beyond the Book

344 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 17 halftones, 3 maps, notes, bibl., index

Published with support provided by the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas
Not for Sale in Canada

David J. Weber Series in the New Borderlands History

ISBN  978-1-4696-2105-0
Published: April 2015

Metis and the Medicine Line

Creating a Border and Dividing a People

By Michel Hogue

Awards & Distinctions

Finalist, 2016 Canada Prize in the Humanities, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

2016 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize, Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska Lincoln

Shortlist, Sir John A. Macdonald Prize, Governor General's History Award for Scholarly Research

Born of encounters between Indigenous women and Euro-American men in the first decades of the nineteenth century, the Plains Metis people occupied contentious geographic and cultural spaces. Living in a disputed area of the northern Plains inhabited by various Indigenous nations and claimed by both the United States and Great Britain, the Metis emerged as a people with distinctive styles of speech, dress, and religious practice, and occupational identities forged in the intense rivalries of the fur and provisions trade. Michel Hogue explores how, as fur trade societies waned and as state officials looked to establish clear lines separating the United States from Canada and Indians from non-Indians, these communities of mixed Indigenous and European ancestry were profoundly affected by the efforts of nation-states to divide and absorb the North American West.

Grounded in extensive research in U.S. and Canadian archives, Hogue's account recenters historical discussions that have typically been confined within national boundaries and illuminates how Plains Indigenous peoples like the Metis were at the center of both the unexpected accommodations and the hidden history of violence that made the "world's longest undefended border."

About the Author

Michel Hogue is assistant professor of history at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.


“Particularly effective in documenting how questions of race and nationality as well as the disappearance of the buffalo and the emergence of a more well-defined border determined the fate of the Plains Metis...Recommended.”

“Changes the terrain of our understanding.”
--American Indian Culture and Research Journal

"The complexity of this history is daunting, yet it could not be in more capable and confident hands. On one level, Michel Hogue's study constitutes a rigorous analysis of the Metis as a borderland people. But it is also a micro-history of families and individuals who are vividly brought to life--a demonstration of how the stories of the Metis people are inextricably bound to larger narratives of race and nation."
--Sarah Carter, University of Alberta

“This book makes a crucial contribution to Metis studies and to literature on state formation. Bringing to the fore the important role of the border and the unique problems and solutions tied to race making at the time, this book is an important and noteworthy read.”
--Gerhard Ens, University of Alberta

“Michel Hogue does what no other historian has managed. . . . Metis and the Medicine Line reshapes our understanding not only of the history of the international boundary but, importantly, of who the Plains Metis were and who they became as they helped to create and define that border.”
--Brenda Macdougall, University of Ottawa

© 2015 The University of North Carolina Press
116 South Boundary Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-3808
How to Order | Make a Gift | Privacy