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Inuit, Oblate Missionaries, and Grey Nuns in the Keewatin, 1865-1965

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Over the century between the first Oblate mission to the Canadian Central Arctic in 1867 andtheshiftsbroughtabout by Vatican II, the region was the site of complex interactions between Inuit, Oblate missionaries, and Grey Nuns. Enriching archival sources with oral testi- mony, Frédéric Laugrand and Jarich Oosten provide an in-depth analysis of conversion, medical care, education, and vocation in the Keewatin region of the Northwest Territories. They show that while Christianity was adopted by the Inuit and major transformations occurred, the Oblates and the Grey Nuns did not eradicate the old traditions or assimilate the Inuit. The study begins with the first contact Inuit had with Christianity in the Keewatin region and ends in the mid-1960s, when anInuk woman joined the Grey Nuns and two Inuit brothers became Oblate missionaries.