Edward S. Curtis Above the Medicine Line

Portraits of Aboriginal Life in the Canadian West

By (author): Rodger D. Touchie
ISBN 9781926613772
Hardcover | Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Book Dimensions: 6 in x 9 in
192 Pages
$19.95 CAD

About the Book

For almost three decades, Edward Curtis photographed the First Peoples of the North American West and studied their cultures. As part of his fieldwork, he cruised the Pacific Northwest coast and ventured into the lands of the Blackfoot Confederacy, both north and south of the Medicine Line.

Alarmed that the traditional Aboriginal ways of life seemed in danger of disappearing forever, Curtis made an incredible effort to capture the daily routines, character and dignity of First Peoples through photography and audio recordings. Against seemingly insurmountable odds and at substantial personal and financial sacrifice, he completed the 20-volume masterpiece The North American Indian, deemed “the most gigantic undertaking in the making of books since the King James edition of the Bible” by the New York Herald.

With more than 150 photographs, Edward S. Curtis Above the Medicine Line is both a compelling narrative that sheds new light on the Curtis mystique and a fascinating overview of many of the First Peoples he studied a century ago. Also available in paperback.

About the Author(s)

Rodger D. Touchie was first attracted to writing when his MBA thesis was published in three parts by Canadian Business magazine. Rodger continued writing, including books on BC history and travel, before becoming the owner/publisher of Heritage House in 1995. He and his wife, Pat, divide their time between Nanoose Bay and Victoria, BC.


“Rodger D. Touchie’s Edward S. Curtis: Above the Medicine Line is a handsome volume that treats readers to some of Curtis’s stunning black-and-white photography. As Touchie tells of Curtis’s life and travels, the photographs offer compelling glimpses of landscapes and peoples that a century later seem both strangely present and remarkably foreign. You will want to linger over many of these extraordinary images.” —Phil Koch, Canada’s History
"This book provides excellent information on ethnographers' bias and the tension created preserving the cultures and creating an image of the noble savage." —Canada’s History