The Mission era in Canada's West can be looked at in three periods.
with the years before 1870 (marking the sale of Rupert's Land and the
early treaties) one moves into turbulent years and
concludes with a review of the role of the missions and missionaries
in the 20th century.
The Wesleyans, or those missionaries with roots in
British Methodism, dominated the Methodist missionary field prior to 1870.
We examine their relations with the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and other
missionaries and how they first established cross-cultural contact with
the Aboriginal peoples.
After Confederation in 1867, the landscape of Western Canada changed
significantly. The presence of the Canadian government, the decline of
the HBC, the formalization of the Methodist Church of Canada and the
signing of First Nations treaties in the early 1870s, all affected the role of the Methodist
missions. We will explore
how these roles changed and how new relationships evolved with the
Canadian government, local communities and Aboriginal peoples. Finally, we
will take a look at the lasting effects of the missionaries and their
changing role in the twentieth century.