Métis women have been neglected in scholarship because they are hard to find in historical records. Seeking out little-used sources and amplifying their voices in them demonstrate that they were significant figures in maintaining peace within their communities on the northern Great Plains in the mid- to late nineteenth century. Through their actions in battles and diplomatic negotiations, they showed themselves to be particularly skilled in conflict resolution. This article highlights two key instances in which Métis women used both courage and judiciousness to support their communities. The first is the 1851 Battle of Grand Coteau between the Yanktonais Sioux and a Métis and Anishinaabe bison-hunting party. The second is a Métis trading family negotiating with Lakota in the late 1870s through the actions of Sarah Nolin. In this article, we survey key historical moments in Métis women’s lives and experiences in the geography now known as North Dakota, exemplifying their approaches to diplomacy, conflict resolution, and political affirmation.

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