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Bill Waiser - Historian & Author

Bill Waiser

Author, Historian, Public Speaker

Bill Waiser is one of Canada’s foremost historians.  For more than three decades, he was a history professor at the University of Saskatchewan.  He is now a full-time writer and public speaker.

Bill has published 21 books, in addition to plying his trade in radio, television, and print media. He’s known for his engaging, popular style that draws on the power of stories.  In August 2023, the Mosquito First Nation honoured Bill with a blanket ceremony for his work on Nakoda history.

Bill’s many honours include the Order of Canada and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.  He is the recipient of the 2016 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction and the 2019 Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media (the Pierre Berton Award).  He’s also had the privilege of presenting one of his books to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at a private ceremony. 

Bill Waiser
Bill Waiser - Presenting Book to Queen Elizabeth II
Bill Waiser with Governor General David Johnson
Bill Waiser - With Mike Myers

Books by Bill Waiser

In Search of Almighty Voice - Resistance and Reconciliation - Bill Waiser

In Search of Almighty Voice

Resistance and Reconciliation

In May 1897, Almighty Voice, a member of the One Arrow Willow Cree, died violently when Canada’s North-West Mounted Police shelled the fugitive’s hiding place. Since then, his violent death has spawned a succession…

Saskatchewan - A New History - Bill Waiser

Saskatchewan

A New History

In Saskatchewan: A New History, award-winning author and historian Bill Waiser presents a fresh, entertaining account and interpretation of Saskatchewan’s unique and captivating history. Writing with clarity, candor…

A World We Have Lost - Bill Waiser

A World We Have Lost

Saskatchewan Before 1905

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…

Cheated - The Laurier Liberals and the Theft of First Nations Reserve Land

Available Now

You won’t find the Ocean Man and Pheasant Rump reserves on a map of southeastern Saskatchewan. In 1901, the two Nakoda bands reluctantly surrendered the 70 square miles granted to them under treaty. It’s just one of more than two dozen surrenders aggressively pursued by the Laurier Liberal government over a 15-year period. One in five acres was taken from First Nations.

This confiscation was justified on the grounds that prairie bands had too much land and that it would be better used by white settlers. In reality, the surrendered land was largely scooped up by Liberal speculators — including three senior civil servants and a Liberal cabinet minister — and flipped for a tidy profit. None were held to account.

Cheated is a gripping story of single-minded politicians, uncompromising Indian Affairs officials, grasping government appointees, and well-connected Liberal speculators, set against a backdrop of politics, power, patronage, and profit. The Laurier government’s settlement of western Canada can never be looked at the same way again.

For more information about Bill Waiser and his work and publications, please consult his biography (PDF).

Recent work

Gordie's Skate - Bill Waiser

GORDIE’S SKATE

A children’s depression-era story about how Saskatoon’s Gordie Howe acquired his first skate (singular) thanks to his mother’s kindness.

from his mom….nineteen-month-old Jamie Parsons of St. John’s NL wants to read Gordie’s Skate over and over again—it’s his “absolute favourite” book!

Recent Newspaper Articles

“Our Own Poor Dave”
Saskatoon Star Phoenix
March 30, 2024

“River Landing”
The Globe & Mail
May 18, 2024

To ask a history question, extend a speaking invitation, or contact Bill: