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Donald B. Smith is a professor emeritus of History at the University of Calgary who focused his career on the history of Aboriginal Canada, Quebec, and the history of Calgary and Southern Alberta. He was born in Toronto and raised in Oakville, Ontario. He obtained his Honours B.A. in Modern History from the University of Toronto in 1968; his M.A. from Université Laval in Quebec City in 1969; and his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1975. He taught Canadian History at the University of Calgary from 1974 to 2009, where he is now Professor Emeritus of History and member of the Order of the University of Calgary. He is married to Nancy Townshend, and they have two sons, David and Peter. Smith and his family live in Calgary.
Donald Smith's publications include five biographies on individuals connected with Aboriginal Canada: Long Lance: The True Story of an Impostor (1982); Sacred Feathers: The Reverend Peter Jones (Kahkewaquonaby) and the Mississauga Indians (1987); From the Land of Shadows: The Making of Grey Owl (1990); and Mississauga Portraits: Ojibwe Voices from Nineteenth Century Canada (2013), as well as Calgary's Grand Story: The Making of a Prairie Metropolis from the Viewpoint of Two Heritage Buildings, a history of Calgary (2005). He tells the story of his interest in the Mississauga (Ojibwe) First Nations on the north shore of Lake Ontario in the introduction to the second edition of Sacred Feathers, published in 2013. In 2014, Smith's book Mississauga Portraits won the Floyd S. Chalmers Award for the best book on Ontario history published in the preceding calendar year.