Culture built upon the land : a predictive model of nineteenth-century Canadien/Métis farmsteads. Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3t945w16c

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  • The objective of this thesis is to provide a predictive model for the archaeological investigation of the first farmsteads in the Pacific Northwest, established in the early- and mid-nineteenth century by Canadien and Métis families retiring from their service in the fur trade. Past studies of this population have either failed to thoroughly discuss or relied on stereotyped interpretations of this unique ethnic group due to an over-reliance on and uncritical use of English-language sources. The inherent bias of many Anglophone sources has lead to the misinterpretation and ignorance of the unique character of these early settlers and, thus, a lack of thorough investigation into their contribution to Pacific Northwest history. My hypothesis is that the Canadien and Francophone Métis men patterned their settlements on a mental template derived from seventeenth-century European settlement in the Saint-Lawrence River Valley. I have used both English- and French-language primary and secondary sources from archives in the United States and Canada circa 1600-1900. First, I identified and described the core features of Canadien and Métis farmsteads and communities and explicated their social and material context. Second, I created a model of the imprint of these elements in the archaeological record. This model attempts to illustrate that culturally informed historical research can be applied to archaeological investigation as both a guide to understanding the material record and a means to test and to confirm assertions about cultural identity, continuity and material culture.
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