Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Great Plains Quarterly Vol. 29, No. 2, Spring 2009, pp. 000-000


Copyright 2009 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska- Lincoln


Based on research carried out over a decade into enactment at five North American reconstructed historic sites in the Great Plains and around the Great Lakes, this is essentially a book about encounters: encounters between Native interpreters and visitors at historic sites, of course-but also encounters between differing preconceptions of history, between ways of life, between people and things, and between the present and the past. Indeed, the chapters are interspersed with "vignettes" or snapshots of such encounters.

All the sites discussed in the book depict the people, activity, and material culture associated with missions and fur trading. They were selected, as the author explains, "to reflect a range of historic contact situations . . . site sizes, visitor numbers, budgets, and institutional affiliations." Laura Peers -succeeds in exploring a number of questions concerning the development, aims, politics, agency, and multiple contexts and interpretations of the historical representations negotiated at these sites. She is also effective in advancing her argument that such sites not only perform versions of the past, but are inextricably caught up in today's social and political currents.