Kisisk Cover Kisiskatchewan

The Great River Road


Author: Barbara Huck


Between 1780 and 1782, as the scourge of smallpox swept across the northern Great Plains, killing untold numbers, European traders began a determined march west. In less than a generation, North America was transformed.


In the midst of this turnoil was William Tomison, a man too long overlooked by history. A native Orkneyman, he was hired in 1760 as a labourer by the Hudson's Bay Company, but rose to become Governor Inland. Though stern and demanding, he could see beyond race or gender. Driven by a passion for education, he glimpsed the future. William Tomison might well be called the first real Western Canadian.


Kisiskatchewan: The Great River Road is based on the journal entries he wrote daily in his various capacities with the HBC. These writings, always in his elegant script, paint an outline of life at the time. This book faithfully follows his journals, but has gone beyond them to recreate one of the most turbulent periods in our history.


Kisiskatchewan won the McNally Robinson 'Book of the Year' Award.