Frontier Farwell

Frontier Farewell. The 1870s and the End of the Old West by Garrett Wilson Published by University of Regina Reviewed by Tim Tokaryk $19.95 ISBN 978-0-88977-193-2 The hoof prints have long since gone. The imprinted sand and clays quickly re-shaped by time, returned to a landscape dominated by natural grasses and sagebrush. But in cluttered archives and journal scrawlings their imprint remains. The impressions, ideas, hopes, and simple need for survival of the people of Canada’s West are newly amalgamated in Garrett Wilson’s Frontier Farewell, The 1870s and the End of the Old West. In this heavily researched volume, Wilson suggests that this period was pivotal to the shaping of the prairies and Canada as a nation. The Dominion of Canada, fearful of annexation by U.S. expansionismwas incensed in the marking of its territory, particularly along the seemingly arbitrary line of the 49th parallel: a line that didn’t follow any topographical relief or structure, a line determined in a country across an ocean. Despite what was decided in the mother land thousands of kilometers away or in the nation’s eastern capital, which seemed like another world in and of itself, the reality of determining the right course of action had…