Canadian Indian Cowboys in Australia

Representation, Rodeo, and the RCMP at the Royal Easter Show, 1939

Table des matières


List of Illustrations

1. The Australian Request

The R. A.S. and its Ambassadors
Modernity at the Royal Easter Show and the Accompanying Brochures
Economic Depression, WWII and the Unspoken Political Motivations of the R. A.S

2. The Canadian Response

The Beginning of the Negotiations
The Preferred Performance
The Second Canadian Preference
Schmidt?s Bottom Line
Handicraft Sales as Government Income at the Royal Easter Show

3. Canadian Indian Cowboys at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney: Celeberities, Citizens, and Wards

Life on the Reserves in Alberta, 1930s
Life as an Indian Cowboy
The Trip to Australia in 1939
Indian Cowboys as Celebrities
Indian Cowboys as Wards of the State
Indian Cowboys as Equals

4. Constable Leach at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney: Tourist, Amateur Anthropologist, and Chaperone

The Unique Relationship between First Nations and the RCMP
Constable Leach and a Tourist View
Primitivism Discourse within Constable Leach?s Commentary

5. The Australian Audience

"Noble Savage" and Savage Ideology in North America and Australia
Press Reports from Australia


La description

The big new thrill at this year’s Royal Show will be the Chuck Wagon Races, with Red Indians in full war-paint going helter-skelter around the arena, chuck wagons swaying and jostling perilously, horse teams urged with wild whooping into a frenzy of speed. - Newspaper advertisement, Sydney, Australia, March 1939.

In 1939, a troupe of eight rodeo riders, accompanied by an RCMP officer, travelled to Sydney, Australia, to compete in the Royal Easter Show. The men were expected to compete in various rodeo events, as well as to sell handicrafts at the fair’s "Indian village," where they also camped. International competition in rodeo was very rare at the time, and the team proved to be a popular draw for Australian audiences.

This little-known moment in Canadian history is explored in Canadian Indian Cowboys in Australia. Lynda Mannik uniquely incorporates five different perspectives of the event: that of the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales; the Canadian government; the eight First Nations men who participated; the RCMP officer who travelled with the team; and the Australian public. These multiple perspectives offer insight into the constructs of identity and visual representation as they are influenced by intercultural, social, and power relationships.



Canadian Indian Cowboys is a finely grained, detailed analysis of a single event in which First Nations seized a unique opportunity to represent themselves internationally . . . The Royal Easter Show lasted a few short weeks in 1939 but, through Mannik?s intriguing treatment, it returns to offer new insights into the interactions between Aboriginal and non–Aboriginal people on the world stage.

—Mary–Ellen Kelm, Canadian Historical Review