A World We Have Lost

Saskatchewan Before 1905

2016 Governor General's Literary Awards winner in the adult non-fiction category

Jury Statement
"From its first page, Bill Waiser's A World We Have Lost: Saskatchewan Before 1905 surprises the reader with its reconsideration of Canada. In a sweeping blend of narrative, historical detail, and compelling images, Waiser refocuses the country's story by putting Indigenous peoples and environmental concerns in the foreground."

2017 Saskatchewan Book Award winner for Non-fiction


Bill Waiser was professor of history at the University of Saskatchewan for three decades. He has been awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, named a distinguished university professor, and granted a D. Litt. Waiser has written more than a dozen award-winning books about Saskatchewan’s rich history. A World We Have Lost won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2016.

A World We Have Lost examines the early history of Saskatchewan through an Aboriginal and environmental lens. Indians and mixed-descent peoples played leading roles in this story, as did the land and climate. Despite growing British and Canadian presence, the Saskatchewan country remained Aboriginal territory, and by the early nineteenth century, a distinctive Western society had emerged in the Northwest, albeit one challenged and undermined by the takeover of the region by the young Dominion of Canada. By the time Saskatchewan entered Confederation as a province in 1905, this earlier entity became a world we have lost.