A World We Have Lost

A World We Have Lost

Saskatchewan Before 1905

Book - 2016
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Sometime during the summer of 1690, in east-central Saskatchewan, Englishmen Henry Kelsey and his Indian escorts walked out of the boreal forest and into a new world -- the northern great plains of western Canada. It was a landscape never encountered before by another European. Kelsey has been lauded as "first in the west" and the "discoverer of the Canadian prairies." But these accolades overlook the simple fact that any European and later Canadian activity in what would become the future province of Saskatchewan was entirely dependent on the goodwill and cooperation of the indigenous peoples of the region. After all, Kelsey had to be taken inland. He was a passenger, not a pathfinder.

A World We Have Lost examines the early history of Saskatchewan through an Aboriginal and environmental lens. Indian and mixed-descent peoples played leading roles in the story -- as did the land and climate. Despite the growing British and Canadian presence, the Saskatchewan country remained Aboriginal territory. The region's peoples had their own interests and needs and the fur trade was often peripheral to their lives. Indians and Metis peoples wrangled over territory and resources, especially bison, and were not prepared to let outsiders control their lives, let alone decide 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 that was challenged and undermined by the takeover of the region by a young dominion of Canada. Settlement and development was to be rooted in the best features of Anglo-Canadian civilization, including the white race. By the time Saskatchewan entered confederation as a province in 1905, the world that Kelsey had encountered during his historic walk on the northern prairies had become a world we have lost.

Publisher: Markham, Ontario : Fifth House, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781927083390
Branch Call Number: 971.2401 Wai
Characteristics: xiii, 717 pages : illustrations (some colour), maps (some colour) ; 26 cm


From Library Staff

List - Award Winners
VaughanPLAlyssia Apr 11, 2017

Governor General's Literary Award for Nonfiction 2016

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Jul 06, 2017

great insight into the historical development of this region (although much from what the HBC people wrote down)

Mar 04, 2017

Books dealing with Canada are somewhat of a rarity on the history shelf. And this is even more true with regards to the subject of one of Canada's newest and less populated provinces, Saskatchewan. This is without a doubt most elegantly written works about this province that one could possible hope for.It traces the path from the earliest period of European penetration to 1905 when Saskatchewan entered confederation as a full-fledged province. The book is highly readable and definitely deserves to go beyond the coffee table..
Features an extensive bibliography, footnotes, maps and illustrations.

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