Sitting Bull's Boss: Above the Medicine Line with James Morrow Walsh


238 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-895811-63-5
DDC 971.2'02'092




Reviewed by Danial Duda

Danial Duda is a librarian specializing in military history at the
Rutherford Library, University of Alberta.


This book deals with the relationship between James Walsh, one of the
original members of the North West Mounted Police, and Sitting Bull, the
famous Sioux chief. The author describes how Walsh and other officers
worked hard in maintaining the peace among the different Indian nations,
as well as discouraging them from crossing the border and attacking
American communities.

Prime Minister John A. Macdonald believed Walsh was too lenient with
the Sioux people. In the late 1870s, there were strong fears of Indian
and Métis uprisings on both sides of the border. Macdonald also
believed that the tension would be alleviated if the Sioux returned to
their American lands. Sitting Bull did not trust the American
government, but he did trust Walsh and obeyed the White Mother’s
(British) law because Walsh and his men upheld that law equally among
all people. However, Walsh was reluctant to force the Sioux back across
the border; he wanted them to go peacefully without any bloodshed.

Sitting Bull’s Boss is a good introduction to the early history of
the NWMP (now the RCMP) and the Sioux nation in Canada, told from the
perspective of one of its early heroes, James Walsh.


Anderson, Ian., “Sitting Bull's Boss: Above the Medicine Line with James Morrow Walsh,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024,