Indian Ernie
Purich Publishing / 23 March 2016

Indian Ernie: Perspectives on Policing and Leadership by Ernie Louttit Published by Purich Publishing Ltd. Review by Keith Foster $25.00 ISBN 978-1-895830-78-1 The best leaders and the best teachers are the ones who’ve learned by experience. Ernie Louttit is one of those leaders who teaches valuable life lessons in his book, Indian Ernie: Perspectives on Policing and Leadership. This is an up-close, personal look at some of the seamier streets of Saskatoon where his police beat took him. Ernie was educated in the school of hard knocks. Kicked out of school several times before grade eight, he dropped out of grade eleven. He worked as a labourer in northern Ontario, joined the Canadian Armed Forces, and served for a time as a peacekeeper with the United Nations in Cyprus. He was with inexperienced troops whose job was to patrol the front lines between hostile Greek and Turkish forces. “Somehow we made it through without getting ourselves killed or starting a war,” Ernie notes. After a stint as a military policeman, Ernie joined the Saskatoon Police Service, becoming only the third native member of the force. As an Aboriginal man, he faced racism and discrimination throughout his life. But he turned…

And It Was Very Good
DriverWorks Ink / 23 March 2016

And It Was Very Good: Everyday Moments of Awe by Ed Olfert Published by DriverWorks Ink Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $19.95 ISBN 9-781927-570227 I must begin this review with a disclaimer: I was hesitant to read and review this book, based on the recognizable Biblical quote in its title. I expected that within Ed Olfert’s pages I’d be subjected to Christian proselytizing, and I’m not particularly receptive to preaching of any kind. The quote, from Genesis 1:31, refers to God observing creation then stating “And it was very good.” Well, you know what they say about judging a book by its cover. (And in this case, the cover’s a particularly attractive photograph of what appears to be a Saskatchewan lake). I’m delighted to share that within just a few pages, my hesitancy vanished and I realized I was in for a darn good read. Firstly, the Laird, SK author comes to the page rich with life experience. He’s from a “grease under the fingernails” Mennonite family, and his work experience includes mining, welding, truck driving, and “ministering a church”. He’s a father, a proud and connected grandfather, and a volunteer who has worked in Haiti, and he often works…

On the Frontier: Letters from the Canadian West in the 1880s
University of Regina Press / 23 March 2016

On the Frontier: Letters from the Canadian West in the 1880s by William Wallace edited by Ken S. Coates and Bill Morrison Published by University of Regina Press Review by Keith Foster $29.95 ISBN 978-0-88977-408-7 Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall, listening in to the conversations of others? On the Frontier: Letters from the Canadian West in the 1880s is the next-best thing. It chronicles the lives of bachelor brothers William and Andrew Wallace, and their widowed father, Peter, as they immigrate to Canada from England and settle in what is now western Manitoba. Using his keen powers of observation, William corresponds with his sister, Maggie, back in Scotland. He signs his letters as Willie. His brother, Andrew, occasionally adds a postscript. Maggie’s letters, unfortunately, have been lost. What a shame. It’s like listening to a one-sided conversation. According to editors Ken S. Coates and Bill Morrison, William wrote in a stream of consciousness, without concern for punctuation. As editors, Coates and Morrison added the appropriate punctuation to make for easier reading, but kept the wording intact. One theme thoroughly permeating William`s letters are the hardships pioneers faced. Spring flooding would wash away bridges. But…