Rudy Wiebe's The Temptations of Big Bear is an epic of the Canadian West. As the buffalo-based food supply vanishes, Big Bear leads his Plains Cree nation across the prairie in search of a means of retaining the way of life quickly being lost—a life his people have lived for thousands of years.
If Horatio Alger had imagined a female heroine in the same mold as one of the young male heroes in his rags-to-riches stories, she would have looked like Belinda Mulrooney. Smart, ambitious, competitive, and courageous, Belinda Mulrooney was destined through her legendary pioneering in the wilds of the Yukon basin to found towns and many businesses. She built two fortunes, supported her family, was an ally to other working women, and triumphed in what was considered a man's world.
When gold was discovered in the Fraser River country of British Columbia in the 1850s, St. Paul, Minnesota became the departure point for the plunge westward, as was St. Louis for the American gold rushes. Minnesotans soon caught the fever. Nine young men set out in July of 1858 for the goldfields of British Columbia.