(Un)settling Mary Weekes: Collecting Indigenous Beadwork and Confronting Settler Identity in Twentieth-Century Saskatchewan [thesis]

Manon Gaudet
This thesis examines the acquisition and exhibition history of a collection of Plains Indigenous beadwork donated to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum by the Reginabased author and collector Mary Weekes . Taking the rural cottage where she acquired her collection as a contact zone, this thesis considers how Weekes developed unusually intimate settler-Indigenous friendships that forced her to confront her complicity in colonial practices of dispossession and assimilation. It also interrogates how
more » ... dedication to Saskatchewan's marginalized Indigenous peoples at times irreconcilably conflicted with her own marginalized status as a woman with persistent professional ambitions-the pursuit of which was aided by participation in the same colonial systems she critiqued. Consequentially, while collecting is typically understood as a settler's attempt to invent a sense of belonging, I argue that the social circumstances of her collecting activities alternatively (un)settled Mary Weekes, as she both resisted and confirmed colonial hierarchies. vi
doi:10.22215/etd/2016-11372 fatcat:c5avv2zgpnetjomthgsorahywi