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The Indians of Canada
Their Manners and Customs by John McLean


NINE years spent among the Blood Indians of the Canadian North-West, studying their language, customs, mythology and traditions, have given me opportunities of learning much that may prove interesting to young and old. After three years’ residence among the Indians, I was requested to send information on the North-West tribes to the British Association, the Smithsonian Institution, and other learned societies. I then began earnestly to collect a good library of books on the Indians, and to study with enthusiasm among the lodges everything pertaining to the life and labor of the Red Men of the West. I soon found that many of the books written were of a sensational character, and at once determined to try to write something that would be reliable and, at the same time, interesting to all. The strange life of the dwellers in the lodges, the wonderful mythology and traditions, and the peculiar customs which are essentially their own, reveal to us a civilization that is fascinating, and yet but little understood. As I sat in the wigwams and lodges of the Indians listening to their strange stories, I thought I could not do better than record them for the benefit of the young; and as tales of adventure among cowboys in the Far West were recited as we were camped upon the prairie, they were preserved for the good of young and old. Herein are written stories of missionary heroism, episodes of every-day life in the camps of the red men, records of life among the cowboys, and facts and fancies of the Bedouins of the Western Continent. May the readers of these pages have their ideas changed as mine have been, by coming into closer contact with our dusky brethren, through their languages, literature, native religion, folk-lore, and later Christian life.

February, 1892. Third Edition

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