Please join us for the book launch for Evelyn Peters’ Rooster Town: The History of an Urban Métis Community, 1901–1961 and introducing the Rooster Town Online Archive.
Date: Thursday October 18, 10:00 am
Location: The University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections (3rd floor, Elizabeth Dafoe Library)
About the Rooster Town Online Archive
The Rooster Town Online Archive is a repository of research collected over several years and used toward publication of Rooster Town: The History of an Urban Métis Community, 1901–1961. This website brings to the general audience, and interested researchers, the materials produced after exhaustive research in the provincial and city archives; after consultation of government documents, censuses, assessment rolls, voters’ lists, and Henderson’s Directories; and most importantly after interviews and conversations with descendants of Rooster Town residents.
Supplementing the current limited archive, the maps produced by Adrian Werner, and lists documenting Rooster Town’s populations changes, detail the physical mobility of Rooster Town householders, and of the whole community, as it changed over sixty years, and as its residents maneuvered the southwestern edge of growing Winnipeg, including the city’s infrastructure and the municipal bureaucracy.
Included family trees also depict the kinship networks at the centre of the Rooster Town community, while the available photographs offer a glimpse into the everyday as well as special events of the Rooster Town residents.
About the Book
Melonville. Smokey Hollow. Bannock Town. Fort Tuyau. Little Chicago. Mud Flats. Pumpville. Tintown. La Coulee. These were some of the names given to Métis communities at the edges of urban areas in Manitoba. Rooster Town, which was on the outskirts of southwest Winnipeg, endured from 1901 to 1961.
Those years in Winnipeg were characterized by the twin pressures of depression and inflation, chronic housing shortages, and a spotty social support network. At the city’s edge, Rooster Town grew without city services as rural Métis arrived to participate in the urban economy and build their own houses while keeping Métis culture and community as a central part of their lives. In other growing settler cities, the Indigenous experience was largely characterized by removal and confinement. But the continuing presence of Métis living and working in the city, and the establishment of Rooster Town itself, made the Winnipeg experience unique.
Rooster Town documents the story of a community rooted in kinship, culture, and historical circumstance, whose residents existed unofficially in the cracks of municipal bureaucracy, while navigating the legacy of settler colonialism and the demands of modernity and urbanization.
About the Author
Evelyn Peters is an urban social geographer whose research has focused on First Nations and Métis people in cities. She taught in the University of Winnipeg’s Department of Urban and Inner-City Studies, where she held a Canada Research Chair in Inner-City Issues, Community Learning, and Engagement.