Thursday, May 06, 2010

Reconciling Amerindian and Euroamerican (Mis)Understandings of a Shared Past:

Cross-Cultural Conflict Historiography and the 1832 Hannah Bay “Massacre”


An article by Cecil Chabot
While these sources (Oral tradition from Cree and at least one person in the Orkney Islands descendant of Hudson Bay Company workers, and written accounts from Euroamericans) coincide in more than simply casting doubt over Wilson’s summary phrase, diversity and discord are also present. If they flow in the same direction, their origins appear to be nevertheless of very different colours, and the question remains: ‘can they ever merge?’ Addressing this question will help explain, diminish, and even remove significant obstacles in order to form and communicate a better understanding of what happened, in what context, why, and to what effect, at Hannah Bay in the winter of 1832. Conversely, attempting to answer these four historical questions may shed light on the historiographical problem that extends beyond the context of the Hannah Bay conflict in which it has just been framed. It is a problem faced by all historians attempting to chart understandings of cross-cultural histories that are marked or defined by conflict, especially the one(s) which Euroamericans and Amerindians have shared, to an increasing extent, and narrated for half a millennium since Columbus’ 1492 voyage.
Read the article here: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dd3z5fsg_3fqdqgp7w