The book helps destroy the myth that Christian missionaries were agents of cultural change and the First Nations people were passive recipients. There was a cooperative relationship between the Oblates and the Metis, Cree and Blackfoot as well as with the Piagen, Blood and Sarcee. Fr. Doucet and his colleagues were admired by First Nations people for their steadfastness of purpose. Even when they did not show much interest in the newcomers’ religion, they showed respect and would often permit their children to be baptized. For his part, Fr. Doucet provided comfort and caring for the sick, dying and their families. He would journey for hours in deep snow and cold to offer baptism and administer last rights. There was a particularly close relationship between the great Blackfoot Chief Crowfoot and the Oblates. In the early 1880s when the Canadian Pacific railroad was being constructed across Blackfoot land, the Oblates were instrumental in working with Crowfoot to get the Blackfeet to accept reservation lands in compensation. In 1885 during the North West rebellion, the Oblates were instrumental in helping convince the Blackfeet not to join with the Metis and Cree in violent battles with Canadian forces. These negotiations were led by the legendary Fr. Albert Lacombe, OMI. Fr. Doucet was personally present at Crowfoot’s death and baptized the chief with his permission before he died. Chiefs of First Nations peoples benefited from this cooperation as it helped them to maintain social order in their tribes and gave them increased status because of their relationship with Oblate missionaries. Hence there was mutual cooperation. Nevertheless, there was often not much interest shown on the part of the natives in Christian religion (nor of the Oblates in theirs). The Blackfeet continued their annual Sun Dance or Okan which Fr. Doucet describes in detail. A Metis mission had been established at St. Albert (near Edmonton) in 1861 by Fr. Albert Lacombe, OMI. It was there that Fr. Doucet was ordained in 1870. He then practiced la mission ambulante – he would go where the plains indians were rather than set up a chapel somewhere and hope that they would come. He describes many harrowing trips on foot or horse where they would lose their way in snow and only by the grace of God, find there way out. Later he was sent to Blackfoot Crossing and also helped out at the Oblates St Joseph Industrial School near High River. Typically Fr. Doucet would baptize children, hold catachesis classes, offer Mass for converts and administer last rights. Fr Doucet reports that there were 3144 Oblate baptisms of Blackfoot, Blood, Peigan and Sarcee from March 1865 to October 1890. I liked this book because it is written in a matter of fact personal voice e.g., we went there, the weather was cold, then we did…my horse ran away, etc. There are many names of people and a short biography of each is provided at the back. There is a good index. Fr. Leon does not much judge, condemn or show any jealousy or anger in his writings. There is the odd bit of humour about competition with Protestant missionaries. He sometimes praises others but usually just reports the facts. A fabulous read for those who enjoy minutiae but also the broader lines of western Canadian history. I would read it again for sure – 4.5 out of 5 stars. (Apparently Part 2 and 3 may be coming in future.) Note. I will place this book in the Oblate Reading Room at Martha House at the Galilee Centre in Arnprior, Ontario If any one wants to borrow it locally, please drop me a line.