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Digging Roots and Remembering Relatives: Lakota Kinship and Movement in the Northern Great Plains from the Wood Mountain Uplands across Lakóta Tȟamákȟočhe/Lakota Country, 1881-1940

  • Author / Creator
    Thomson, Claire
  • Most written Lakota histories jump from the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, briefly describe the refuge in Canada many Lakota people sought, and then resume in 1881 when Chief Sitting Bull returned to the United States. Typically, the people who stayed in the Wood Mountain Uplands, in present-day Saskatchewan, after this time have been overlooked. This dissertation examines Lakota history after 1881 centred on Wood Mountain but connecting to many Lakota communities to bring a more holistic understanding to Lakota lived relations throughout Lakȟóta Tȟamákȟočhe/Lakota Country. The analysis rests within a framework of Lakota kinship and belonging to understand historical connections, movements, and decision making. Furthermore, this study demonstrates how Wood Mountain Lakota people slipped through the cracks of settler state government control and surveillance, sometimes deliberately as a strategy for maintaining self-determination on various levels and sometimes because of settler colonial administrations that sought to make and unmake Indians in overlapping, systematic, and sometimes arbitrary ways which served to sever Lakota ties to each other, place, sovereignty, and culture. Thus, the contrast of belonging—categories versus kin—comes into sharp relief. Lakȟóta Tȟamákȟočhe is more than the land and waters, places and spaces where Lakota people lived, travelled, and fought for, it is the realm of relationships and kinship—a landscape and kinscape that defies settler state geopolitical and social boundaries. Though Wood Mountain Lakota people were in the margins of state categories and Indian policies, they still felt settler colonialism full force. In some ways being in the margins afforded them more opportunities and, in some ways, it caused them more harm. However, Lakota experiences, movement, and resistance continued in relationship networks to kin and to land.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2022
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-n8jz-6207
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.