Retired University of Saskatchewan professor wins top national award for history

The awards keep piling up for a retired University of Saskatchewan professor.

Dr. Bill Waiser, a professor emeritus of the university, has been awarded the 2018 Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: The Pierre Berton Award.


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It is Canada’s top honour in the field of history and heritage.

“This award is an affirmation that what I have been doing, bridging the university and the wider public, is resonating with people,” Waiser said in a statement.

“They are my primary audience.”

The Pierre Berton award is given to a writer who presents historical events and characters of the country in an informative and engaging way to a general audience.

U of S vice-president of research Karen Chad said Waiser does just that in bring history to life for people through everyday language.

“His passion for sharing his wealth of knowledge about the development of Western Canada and his insights about contributions made by Indigenous people to our history add an invaluable perspective to public education and discussion,” Chad said.

It’s the second major award Waiser has won in the last three months.

Waiser received the J.B. Tyrrell Historical Medal from the Royal Society of Canada in September for outstanding contributions to the field of Canadian history.

He also won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2016 for his book A World We Have Lost: Saskatchewan Before 1905.

Waiser will be presented with his award by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette at a ceremony in Rideau Hall on Jan. 28.

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