|From The Publisher*|
From one of our most beloved, respected writers on Canada's past: a visionary yet rip-roaringly entertaining tale of the last years of the Canadian West.
In 1885 in what we now call Canada, two significant things happened: the last spike was driven into the Canadian Pacific Railway and Louis Riel, Metis leader, was executed for treason. Today, these events are seen as defining the early development of the "Dominion"--and indeed they were signs that Canada was beginning its settlement of First Nations territory, forever altering the Canadian West.
But before the deep forests and dry plains of the Northwest Territories became metropolitan backyards, who lived in these far-off hinterlands? This is the story of Fort MacLeod, a small town nestled in the foothills of modern-day Alberta at the heart of Blackfoot territory in the two decades leading up to the creation of Alberta and Saskatchewan. It is a tale of the remarkable, colourful individuals who made their homes there--First Nation and Metis, rancher and settler--and the short period of constructive peace they created. Individuals like John Cowdry, Fort MacLeod's first mayor and hero of its first bank robbery; or Crop Eared Wolf, the legendary Kainai (Blood) warrior and mastermind of some of the greatest horse heists on the northern plains; or Jerry Potts, plainsman, guide and idiosyncratic interpreter for the Northwest Mounted Police who straddled the worlds of the white settlers and his Blackfoot heritage.
This curious and contradictory community was home to roundups and polo matches, tea dances and sun dances, bibles and medicine bundles, where one could hear Blackfoot drums, read the latest news journals from London, and get a drink at the local hotel where you might meet Francis Dickens, son of the novelist, or Henry Longabaugh, better known as the Sundance Kid, at the bar. This is a never-before-told story of Canada, not only what it was, but, as Chamberlin shows, also what it could be.
|Biographical Note||J. EDWARD CHAMBERLIN's renowned book If This Is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories?: Finding Common Ground was a finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize and a finalist for the Pearson Writers' Trust Award. He is University Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. He worked on the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry; was Senior Research Associate with the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples; has worked extensively on native land claims in Canada, the United States, South Africa and Australia; and has lectured widely on literary, historical and cultural issues. His books include The Harrowing of Eden: White Attitudes Towards Native Americans; If This Is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories?: Finding Common Ground; Horse: How the Horse Has Shaped Civilizations; and Island: How Islands Transform the World. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and lives with his wife, Lorna Goodison, in Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia. The author lives in Halfmoon Bay, BC.|