Sitting Bull in Canada


288 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography
ISBN 1-894864-02-6
DDC 978.004'9752'0092




Reviewed by Danial Duda

Danial Duda is an information services librarian in the Queen Elizabeth
II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland.


This is the story of one of North America’s most famous Native
leaders. Sitting Bull earned the respect of his people when he became a
warrior and hunter. He was also adept at diplomacy and politics, and his
people loved him for his compassion. However, this great and natural
leader was despised by many people in the United States, especially
after his famous victory over George A. Custer at Little Big Horn in
1876. In order to save his people, the Sioux nation, Sitting Bull led
them across the Medicine Line (Canada–U.S. border) into the land of
the Great White Mother, Canada.

In Canada, Sitting Bull was treated fairly, and the one person who
could always deal with “Bull” was James Walsh of the Royal
North-West Mounted Police. But Walsh was forced to deal with many
political issues, from Ottawa’s concern that the Sioux would inhibit
people from immigrating to the Canadian west to the determination of the
U.S. government to avenge Custer’s defeat. Hollihan does a fine job of
describing this crucial and interesting time in Canada’s history.

Sitting Bull and the Sioux people always wanted to go back to their
traditional lands in the Dakotas, and they eventually did move back onto
reservations after the American government promised that no harm would
come their way. The one thing that did decide the whole issue was the
demise of the buffalo. Once there was nothing left to hunt, the Sioux
decided to cross the Medicine Line one last time to settle on their
reservation. In 1890, Sitting Bull was killed during a melee with the
Native police on the reservation.

This entertaining and well-written book is highly recommended for all


Hollihan, Tony., “Sitting Bull in Canada,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024,