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 History & Historical Fiction

Whether you are hitting the road or doing a little armchair travelling our ‘In Search of’ titles – and others – will engage and bring these routes to life in so many ways. With a focus on paleontology, archaeology and geology – as well as ancient peoples, wildlife and ecosystems, you will be guaranteed to explore with fresh eyes.



Historical fiction

254 pp Softcover ISBN 978-1-896150-874-1  $22.95


WINNER: McNally Robinson Book of the Year award 2013

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. –Jury notes, MB Book Awards

“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, reader, 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, Journalist, Winnipeg, MB
“Bravo! Beautifully written, subtle and ambiguous but lots of action. Many mysteries.” –Heather Robertson, author, 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


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.

Canada, it’s been said, is Scotland’s revenge on England. It provided an outlet for the ambition and ingenuity of Scottish émigrés.

Great Scots!

How the Scots Created Canada


Canadian social history • Settlement • Law & politics • Commerce

224 pp • Illustrated with archival photos & paintings • Color throughout • Softcover • ISBN 978-1-896150-01-7  $19.95

National Bestseller


“The modern multicultural and bilingual nature of Canada can obscure just how Scottish the nation was at its founding. From curling and golf to the Fathers of Confederation, Scottish culture and Scotsmen dominated. Matthew Shaw’s Great Scots! may go a bit overboard in its subtitle – How the Scots Created Canada – but not by much. For decades Scots ruled the fur trade, and then used its profits to create railways, banks and universities. Canada’s first two prime ministers were Scots, as were a quarter of all MPs before the Second World War. The men who financed the Canadian pacific
Railway, the steel ribbon that would bind the new Dominion together, were all Scots by birth. And although Shaw admits that some Englishman named John Molson was a generous donor to McGill University, its main benefactors were from Scotland: James McGill (fur Trade), Peter Redpath (sugar), William MacDonald (tobacco) and Donald Smith (railways).

” –Maclean’s magazine, Feb 2, 2004.

… employing a series of nicely-wrought biographical sketches, [the author] demonstrates how dominant the Scots and their descendants were in each of [many] fields of endeavor … for the reader content to learn about, and presumably to celebrate, the influence of various sorts of Scots upon the development of Canada, this book should prove eminently satisfying.”

–Winnipeg Free Press


Through the fur trade, the Orcadians of the Hudson’s Bay Company and their rivals the Scottish Nor’Westers of Montreal, formed the backbone of North America’s first continent-wide industry more than 200 years ago. Branching out from the fur trade, Scots created the first banks, universities, railways and shipping lines, and played leading roles in politics, the military and Western settlement.

This book celebrates, in words and stunning images, the vital and pervasive role the Scots played not only in the creation of Canada and its fundamental institutions, but the role they continue in our increasingly multicultural society.


Dancing Backwards

A Social History of Women in Canadian Politics



Geology • Archaeology • Paleontology • Driving guide & directions • Landmarks & visitor centres

288 pp • Illustrated • Softcover • ISBN 978-1-896150-71-0  $19.95


Perhaps there are other books that chart Albert Einstein’s theory of relatively on a continuum of human progress that includes the founding of the London Medical School for Women in 1875 and the patenting of the Internal combustion engine. If there are, I have not read them.
      Dancing Backwards is a unique story about early Canadian Feminist politics that is entertaining and engaging. Sharon Carstairs, government leader in the Senate, started out as a history teacher and her vow to public service is at the heart of her co-authorship of Dancing Backwards. Tim Higgins is a natural storyteller whose writing credits include TV documentaries. The pairing of the two works well.

       What Carstairs and Higgins deliver is not a typical history lesson where the spotlight is focused on one person and simply lists their accomplishments. Rather Dancing Backwards, combines elements of history, science, social developments, culture and feminism as well.” –Penni Mitchell, Herizons Magazine

“Patriarchy, pragmatism and politics”

“Dancing Backwards is an original and interesting book. Starting with the first wave of feminists in the late 19th century and tracking the emergence of women in the political mainstream to today, the authors tell the story of the women’s movement and its impact on Canadian society. It is a contemporary approach to writing history, since its structure is aimed at those who rely on Web sites and videos for information.
       There is a continuous narrative, but each of the book’s seven chapter’s kick off with a brief dramatic script, delivered by a fictional character (a flapper for the 1920s, a lawyer for the 1980s).
      These mini-scripts are followed by the kind of timelines that high school teachers love, showing the major political, social and technological events of the period.” – Charlotte Gray, National Post 


Dancing Backwards is a history of the ground-breaking accomplishments of women in political life in Canada, including biographies of more than two dozen women in leadership roles.
      Following a thematic and chronological format, it encompasses aspects of political leadership in areas beyond electoral politics, including the judiciary. Dancing Backwards weaves these biographies into an accurate and thoroughly readable history of the sometimes painful progress women have made in all aspects of society during the past 130 years.
      Senator Carstairs has an insider’s knowledge (and one national bestseller under her belt), while Higgins has a remarkable feel for cultural nuances, thanks to years of writing for theatre and film.



The Great Lake

Mistehay Sakahegan


Lake Winnipeg Regional history Geology Archaeology Recreation

184 pp • Color throughout • Illustrated with undreds of illustrations & maps • Softcover • ISBN 978-1-896150-08-6  $19.95


WINNER: Margaret McWillimas History Award, Manitoba Historical Society


Chapters include: The Making of the Lake • Spirits of the Lake • Crossroads of the Continent • The Icelandic Saga • Shipwreck! • Summers at the Lake • Adventurers on the Lake • The Lake in Peril

Lake Winnipeg is truly, as the Cree termed it, Mistehay Sakahegan – The Great Lake. Much larger than Lake Ontario, the hub of North America’s heartland, Manitoba’s great lake helped determine the shape of Canada. And throughout its long history, few have been unaffected by its beauty and its treachery.

This beautifully illustrated book begins with the geology of Manitoba’s great lake and traces its fascinating history through the lives and legends of its people, from the first hmans to see its enourmous glacial ancestor to the thousands who vacation about its shores every year.

Street of Dreams

The Story of Broadway: Westrern Canada’s First Boulevard


Regional & social history • Settlement  Politics • Commerce

128 pp • Color throughout • Illustrated with archival photos and paitings • Softcover • ISBN 978-1-896150-14-7  $24.95


Chapters include: The Governor’s Gate A Town Called Broadway The Real Fort Osborne Barracks Gathering Place of the Merchant Princes Government House The Stately Homes of Broadway The Birth of a University Gateway to the West Blueprint for a Fantasy Showpiece of a Continent Palace of Justice Broadway Today

The story of Broadway is the story of Manitoba. From the Governor’s Gate, the last remnant of Upper Fort Garry, to the Manitoba Legislature – deemed one of the two finest public buildings in North America – much of our history can be told through the boulevard’s remarkable buildings. French artist Paul Maze called the view down the avenue “one of the most beautiful sights in Canada”. In Street of Dreams, Marjorie Gillies tells the story of Broadway, with its hopes and ambitions, its scandals and failures.


The Making of a Legend



YA audience • North American history • Indigneous history • Geography

96 pp • Original drawings • Softcover • ISBN 978-1-896150-40-6  $12.95


Her guiding and interpretive skills played a large part in the success of the first American expedition across North America. Yet this remarkable Shoshone teen remains largely unknown.

Sacagawea: The Making of a Legend is the story of a courageous young woman who changed the course of American history, told from her own prespective. Woven from archival records and the journals of Lewis and Clark, this account of her adventures draws readers into a time of boundless horizons and sweeping change.

Author Rick Book combines cultural sensitivity with an ear for age-related nuances, producing a manuscript with a fine balance between the historical record and imagination.

Now included as a recognized supplementary text for the Western Canada Social Studies curriculum. 
Teachers Guide available.

Blackships Thanadelthur

Young Heroes of North America



Lake Winnipeg Regional history Geology Archaeology Recreation

112 pp • Color throughout • Original ilustrations • Hard cover • ISBN With audio CD: 978-1-896150-08-6  $14.95  Without CD 978-1-896150-13-6 $12.95

Audio CD of Thanadelthur available


“A most impressive book for junior readers. At long last I can start replacing those historical novels
 that were published in the fifties.” –Percy Gregoire-Voskamp, Portage La Prairie City Library


Stories of real teens whose lives and actions changed the course of history in North America. Great for young readers 10-14, this series is extensively researched and lavishly illustrated with historically accurate paintings and beautiful photographs. Accompanied by a running sidebar glossary of unfamiliar words and pronunciations. 2 stories in the first volume.

Two brothers, sons of the noted Iroquois leader Donnacona, are taken to France by Cartier in 1534. They learn French, are presented at court and return to save Cartier’s life. But disaster looms.

In 1715, when her companions are exhausted and afraid to continue, a young Dene teen strikes out on her own across the tundra, determined to make peace between two warring nations.
This story is also on audio CD.


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