Cover: Cheated: The Laurier Liberals and the Theft of First Nations Reserve Land by Bill Waiser and Jennie Hansen

Cheated: The Laurier Liberals and the Theft of First Nations Reserve Land

Waiser, Bill, Jennie Hansen

  • You won’t find the Ocean Man and Pheasant Rump reserves on a map of southeastern Saskatchewan. In 1901, the two Nakoda bands reluctantly surrendered the 70 square miles granted to them under treaty. It’s just one of more than two dozen surrenders aggressively pursued by the Laurier Liberal government over a 15-year period. One in five acres was taken from First Nations.

    This confiscation was justified on the grounds that prairie bands had too much land and that it would be better used by white settlers. In reality, the surrendered land was largely scooped up by Liberal speculators — including three senior civil servants and a Liberal cabinet minister — and flipped for a tidy profit. None were held to account.

    Cheated is a gripping story of single-minded politicians, uncompromising Indian Affairs officials, grasping government appointees, and well-connected Liberal speculators, set against a backdrop of politics, power, patronage, and profit. The Laurier government’s settlement of western Canada can never be looked at the same way again.

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  • Historian Bill Waiser is the author of more than a dozen books, including A World We Have Lost: Saskatchewan before 1905, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for nonfiction. He is also the recipient of the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media (the Pierre Berton Award). Bill lives in Saskatoon, SK.

    Historian Jennie Hansen has been involved in numerous projects that investigate how nature was understood, appropriated, and administered under British imperialism. She lives in Saskatoon, SK.

  • Published: October 2023

    ISBN: 9781770417489

    Dimensions: 5.75 x 8.75 in.

    Pages: 300