Bill Waiser

Bill Waiser: Recipient of the 2018 Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media, the Pierre Berton Award

Bill Waiser has devoted his career to building a better understanding and appreciation for our history. He has done that through the classroom, including more than three decades as a university professor, as well as in newspapers and magazines, in books, on radio and television, and in hundreds of public presentations.

The breadth and depth of his scholarship is remarkable. He has moved easily from scholarship to public history and always with tremendous empathy for his historical actors.

Dr. Waiser’s work is grounded in western and northern Canada and spans centuries. His seventeen books include some with a focus on Saskatchewan and others on such diverse topics as Tommy Douglas, the 1935 On-To-Ottawa trek, and aerial photography.

He has introduced us to a history that could have been ignored, such as the use of prisoners in shaping Canada’s national parks, and the roles played by Indigenous people in the North-West Resistance.

Dr. Waiser’s outstanding career includes a leading role in the fight for access to historic census records, revealing him to be a champion for all historically minded Canadians. His success in connecting historical research to popular debate is helped enormously by the high esteem with which he is held among scholars.

This article was originally published by Canada’s History