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The Metis & Louis Riel: Background information when reading The Plague of Doves

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The Plague of Doves

A Novel

by Louise Erdrich

The Plague of Doves
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2008, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2009, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Metis & Louis Riel

Louis Riel
Many of the characters featured in The Plague of Doves are Metis.  The Metis (historically known as the Bois Brule) emerged in Canada in the mid-17th Century as New World fur traders intermarried with Cree, Ojibwe, Salteaux and Menominee natives. While mostly French, some of the traders were English and Scots. Over time, the offspring of these unions themselves interbred and had children of their own, creating one of three Aboriginal peoples recognized by the Canadian government.

The Metis homeland includes the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba & Ontario, as well as parts of the United States (Montana, North Dakota, & NW Minnesota.). They speak Metis French or a mixed language called Michif. Metis French is best preserved in Canada, while Michif is more prevalent in the United States (notably in the Turtle ...

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