The mission era prior to 1870 was a formative period for
Methodists and can be viewed from a number of perspectives.
The working relationship the early missionaries had with the
Hudson's Bay Company and the way they viewed each other is of importance.
The initial contacts
with various Aboriginal peoples and the relationships
that grew out of those preliminary meetings are crucial to this
understandings and, at times, misunderstandings between the two are of particular interest.
As well, the Methodists were not the only missionary group working in the area at the time. The
presence of Anglican and Roman Catholic undertakings is an important factor.
In particular, this reveals the sometimes spiteful competition that developed between
the Methodist missionaries and especially their Roman Catholic counterparts.
The wives of the Methodist missionaries were a very
important part of the work of their husbands. However, it would be
the religious women from various Roman Catholic orders that would mark an important
shift in the
work of the church. Following their arrival, they began to found institutions such as mission schools and hospitals.