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.



Barbara HuckAuthor: Barbara Huck


Barbara Huck is an award-winning journalist, author and publisher, who has authored or co-authored several national bestsellers, including In Search of Ancient Alberta (with Doug Whiteway); Exploring the Fur Trade Routes of North America and In Search of Ancient British Columbia, as well as The Land Where The Sky Begins.



Barbara Huck's Kisiskatchewan is an ambitious reach into the past, breathing life into the private lives of historical figures in the Hudson's Bay Company fur trade.  Set on the Great Plains in the late 18th century as smallpox is decimating First Nations communities, Kisiskatchewan weaves the competing ideologies of the time into a great epic of survival during massive historical change.

(From: Notes of jury members put into the awards brochure at the McNally Robinson Awards ceremony,where Kisiskatchewan won the 'Book of the Year' Award)



After finishing, I felt as if I had been to another world.

Peter Enman - Editor, Calgary


[A] very moving story extremely well written ... and one that I highly recommend.
M. Harrison - Prince Albert, SK
I couldn't put this book down! This story shows such depth of understanding of Cree, Blackfoot and Orkney cultures that I was totally captivated.
Alex Paul - Winnipeg, MB


Bravo! Beautifully written, subtle and ambiguous but lots of action. Many mysteries.
Heather Robertson - Aurora, ON


Kisiskatchewan is a great tale that you won't want to put down, and you'll learn some Canadian history along the way
Winnipeg Free Press


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Purchase Details:

Soft cover

254 pp

ISBN: 978-1-896150-74-1




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