'It was almost... always supposed to be the Indian bar': the American Hotel as a contact zone

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Gelinas, Ryley M. G.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of History
From the early 1960s, the American Hotel in Fort Macleod, Alberta was a space where individuals from the neighbouring Kainai and Piikani reserves interacted. This thesis examines how the American Hotel served as a contact zone between white settlers and other non-Indigenous peoples of Fort Macleod and Blackfoot peoples. Drawing on archival research and thirteen oral history interviews conducted with individuals from Fort Macleod and surrounding areas, this thesis explores (1) the history of the American Hotel as a contact zone and (2) the planning, curation, and reception of the museum exhibition Contact Zone: The American Hotel, which ran at the Galt Museum and Archives in Lethbridge from April to October 2023. Providing additional scholarship to the exhibition, this thesis details the sections of the exhibit and discusses the public reception before concluding with a discussion of colonial haunting in contact zones like the American Hotel.
contact zones , intercultural relations , white settlers , Indigenous peoples , American Hotel's clientele , lived experiences , settler-Indigenous relations , American Hotel, Fort Macleod, Alberta