This book examines the early history of Saskatchewan through an aboriginal and environmental approach. First Nations and mixed-descent peoples played a leading role in the history of Saskatchewan as did its land and climate.
Saskatchewan has remained an aboriginal territory, despite an increasingly strengthening British and Canadian presence.
The region’s people had their own interests and needs. The British and Canadian fur trade explosion was often peripheral to their lives.
The First Nations and Metis peoples wrangled over territory and resources, especially bison. These early inhabitants of the region were not prepared to let outsiders control their lives, let alone decide on their future.
Native-newcomer interactions were consequently fraught with misunderstandings, sometimes painful difficulties, if not outright disputes.
By the early nineteenth century, a distinctive western society had emerged in the North-West, one challenged and undermined by the takeover of the region by the young Dominion of Canada.
New settlement and development were rooted in the best features of Anglo-Canadian civilization, dominated by the white race.
When Saskatchewan entered Confederation as a province in 1905, the world Kelsey had encountered during his historic walk on the northern prairies had become a world we have lost.
I learned so much about Saskatchewan that I didn’t know. I will refer to this book a lot in the future, and try to suggest that history departments buy it as a resource for their high school and college students.
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth