In May 1897, Almighty Voice, a member of the One Arrow Willow Cree, died violently when Canada's North-West Mounted Police shelled the fugitive's hiding place. Since then, his violent death has spawned a succession of conflicting stories — from newspaper features, magazine articles and pulp fiction to plays and film.
Almighty Voice has been maligned, misunderstood, romanticized, celebrated, and invented. Indeed, there have been many Almighty Voices over the years. What these stories have in common is that the Willow Cree man mattered. Understanding why he mattered has a direct bearing on reconciliation efforts today.
"Even though I'm a former mountie, deep down inside, I was cheering for Almighty Voice. I know how badly my people were treated by the federal government after our forefathers entered treaty in good faith. A great read." — Rick Gamble, former Beardy's & Okemasis chief, former RCMP officer, and great grandson of Almighty Voice.
"The Truth and Reconciliation Commission challenged scholars to reckon with the past and address matters stuck in old doctrines of colonialism and denigration. Bill Waiser has written a masterful book that responds to this challenge by interrogating mythical stories about Almighty Voice, working respectfully with the One Arrow community, and reprising his life and tragic death with critical skill. Almighty Voice's defiance needs to be remembered, while the chilling indignity visited on his remains by police needs to be addressed." — Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (Aki-Kwe), Director, Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, and Professor of Law, University of British Columbia
About the Author:
Bill Waiser is the author of A World We Have Lost: Saskatchewan before 1905, winner of the 2016 Governor General's Literary Award for Non-fiction. Bill is also the recipient of the 2018 Governor General's History Award for Popular Media (the Pierre Berton award). He lives in Saskatoon.