2005: A New History of Saskatchewan
Many residents of Saskatchewan in 2005 may have shared at least one thing in common with Queen Elizabeth II: their choice of bedside reading. The bestselling book in Saskatchewan that year was also presented as a gift to the Queen. Professor Bill Waiser's Saskatchewan: A New History was not the first comprehensive history of the province - Jim Wright's Saskatchewan, (1955), and John Archer's Saskatchewan: A History (1980), had established a tradition Waiser was honored to join.1 Nevertheless, he looked to Sir Wilfrid Laurier for his inspiration. In his 1905 speech at Saskatchewan.s provincial inauguration, Laurier observed "When I look about me, I see everywhere hope, calm resolution, courage, enthusiasm to face all difficulties, to settle all problems. ... We do not anticipate, and we do not want, that any individuals should forget the land of their origin or their ancestors. Let them look to the past, but let them also look to the future."2
Saskatchewan: A New History was the University's gift to the province for its 100th anniversary celebrations in 2005 - a fitting tribute from an institution so integral to the province.s development. Waiser succeeded admirably in his aim "to tell a story that will do justice to our ancestors, but also satisfy our children."3 His book was both a popular and an academic success. "... [A] comprehensive description and analysis of Saskatchewan as both a community and a province," noted one reviewer, and "the first ... to consistently weave First Nations' experiences into the larger narrative. ... This is a model centennial history of the province that will stand the test of time."4
Bill Waiser fonds, MG 192.
RG 2041, Department of History fonds, RG 2041.
2005a: Bill Waiser, MG 192, box 1, Series I, file "photographs."
2005b: dust jacket, Saskatchewan: A New History
1. Waiser speech at launch of project, p. 3-4. MG 192, box 29, Series III: "History of Sask - Correspondence."
2. Ibid, p. 2
3. Ibid, p. 4
4. CHA/SHC Bulletin, vol. 32.2, 2006, p. 29-30. MG 192, box 1, Series I "Reviews" folder 1.