One Native Life

One Native Life

Richard Wagamese

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 1553653122

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

One Native Life

Richard Wagamese

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 1553653122

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


One Native Life is Richard Wagamese’s look back at the long road he traveled in reclaiming his identity. It's about the things he's learned as a human being, a man, and an Ojibway. Whether he's writing about playing baseball, running away with the circus, listening to the wind, or meeting Johnny Cash, these are stories told in a healing spirit. Through them, Wagamese shows how to appreciate life for the remarkable learning journey it is.

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Muhammad Ali. A giant. A warrior poet. I was honoured. Watching him walk away I felt healed, like I could bear up. When the police found me eventually and shipped me back to my adopted home, I held onto the sight of him. I left for good soon after, and my life became the road. Thirty-seven years later, I still remember the feel of his big hand on my head and the taste of that lemon pie. Finding Ali saved me, gave me the strength to carry on. I guess that’s what heroes do—imbue us with the gold

Crooked Water . . . MY GRANDFATHER’S NAME was John Wag-amese. Our family name comes from an Ojibway phrase meaning “man walking by the crooked water.” It was shortened by the treaty registrar because Wagamese was all he could pronounce of it, but the name came from the trapline my great-great-grandfather established along the Winnipeg River. My grandfather walked it all his life. He was a bush man, John Wagamese. There was nothing he didn’t know of it, couldn’t comprehend or predict. The

After I pulled the car over he jumped out and ran a few steps into the field, gazing upwards at the sky. We joined him. What we saw in that night sky was unforgettable. They were lights, four, maybe five, orange and red and yellow. As they moved across the sky, you could tell that they were closer than the stars. They changed directions. They changed speeds. Their brightness altered, and when they came together suddenly in a tight formation, then disappeared at supersonic speed, we heaved a

He asked if I would be his helper, and I agreed. When the sun came up we began to build his lodge. He was patient and generous, taking his time in teaching me the traditional protocols of building a sweat lodge. I was deeply honoured. While we worked, he told me stories and talked about how the ceremony had evolved for the northern Ojibway. When we were finished he asked me to be his firekeeper. In the traditional way, acting as a firekeeper is an honoured role. You build the fire that heats

blood of the animals had turned into bright red berries on the mountain ash. Birds and other creatures were feeding on them. From then on, whenever a hard winter was on the way, the mountain ash bore more berries than usual, and the people could prepare. According to the old story, the plentiful berries on the ash tree the dog and I stopped beside meant that I’d have to lay in lots of firewood and make sure the cabin was prepared for a long chill. When the Storytelling Moons of winter come,

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