One Native Life
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One Native Life

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  139 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Reflections and insights into the healing process of an addicted American Indian man. Wagamese looks back down the road he has travelled in reclaiming his identity, talks about the things he has learned as a human being, a man and an Ojibway, and discovers healing through a sense of belonging.
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Published July 1st 2009 by Douglas & McIntyre Publishing Group (first published July 22nd 2008)
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A gem!!! Rounded up from 4 1/2 to 5 since heads above the 3 1/2's I've rounded up to 4.

The book is lyrical, deliciously descriptive and very poetic. I wanted to write down many paragraphs in the book and hold them forever in my heart. It is the kind of book you could reread many times. Even just reading a few pages will fill you with a sense of gratitutde and wonder as Richard reminds us of all the gifts this planet offers and the simplicity and grandeur of it all. Richard is truly a gifted stor...more
Having come fresh off his book, "Indian Horse", I had to keep reading more material by Richard Wagamese. "One Native Life" did not disappoint. His writing is a joy to experience. The splendid way that he uses language makes me stop mid-story to simply re-read and enjoy his craft. This book is a collection of stories that reflects on many aspects of his life , which without a doubt , has seen great difficulty. How he has been able to maintain his optimism and sense of wonder of this world, in par...more
I think it is a book every Canadian should read. A friend wrote a very warm review for this book and that motivated me to read it. And I am glad that I did.
Richard Wagamese was born to residential school survivors who had lost everything they could call their own, including their identity, way of living and confidence. In that they had also lost the basic instinct for caring for their own kids. So, eventually, their two kids were taken away from them. Richard's childhood was spent in foster hom...more
Travis Kendall
Written as a series of short stories this is a very poignant and eloquent story of a First Nation man trying to find meaning, peace, and healing. Very deep at points but remarkably free of anger and resentment even when dealing with an often abusive and tragic past. The other thing that is striking about this book is that for all the obstacles he faced the author seems to have lived a very interesting life, full of travel, adventure, and run ins with famous people. At its heart this is a book ab...more
This was a collection of spiritual essays about some of the people, places and things that gave Richard Wagamese hope over the years. Wagamese was a product of the foster system, and suffered a great deal in his early life. So this collection offers hope and reflection for First Nations people.

I found this book to be thoughtful and uplifting, even though it was also very sad.
This book is full of short anecdotes from Wagamese's past and his search for his native roots. This is a remarkable book, giving the reader a real sense of how many native people have lost touch with their true identity and are struggling to fit into a society which really doesn't understand them, or always have room for them. This book is an encouragement to those who have been abused, and unfairly treated and that there can be healing and forgiveness and the possibility of a new life. Whilst o...more
I read this on my Kobo, swiping happily from one little story to the next. When I swiped one last time and saw "End of title" appear on my screen, I felt at a loss. What do you mean, it's over? I want to read more snippets of Richard's life and journey, the places he's been, the people he knew. All the narratives were written from an Aboriginal point of view, stories of the land and the people, reclaiming identity and healing old wounds, but it could have been about anyone. As he says, we are hu...more
I really enjoyed this book but I'm having a hard time describing why. It was gentle in that I was never jolted while reading it. I found the telling to be very matter of fact and serene. I will definitely read more on Richard Wagamese's books.
Wanda Klassen
This is the first of Wagamese's books I read and left me wanting to read more of his writing. Enjoyed the book for the writing in and of itself as the actual story.
This is a remarkable book. Mr. Wagamese was taken from his abusive parents at a very early age, lived in foster homes and was adopted by a white family. He had difficulties adjusting to their ways and ended up leaving home in his early teens. He didn't know where he belonged, but after years of wondering and self-educating himself through our libraries he does reconnect with his native family and learns his culture and finds peace within himself.
Bailey Olfert
Richard's perspective is so refreshing. He is aboriginal yet honors and appreciates other cultures and traditions. He is frustrated by the realities of life in Canada yet he is more positive than any First Nations person I've experienced. The observations and memories shared in these short essays touched my heart. Recommended!
I loved this book, it was so inspiring. To see the author in person is even more so, he got a standing ovation at the Writers Festival in Sechelt 2 years ago and I am so excited to be seeing him there again this summer. Each chapter of this book just said so much to me, his message is so powerful.
I really enjoyed this author's writing style. Each chapter takes you through another journey in his life, both inspiring and sad. I could relate to this book a's all about trying to find your path in life and figuring out where you belong.
Kay McCracken
Every chapter takes you on a memorable journey into the life that Richard Wagamese has lived. This is a memoir with heart that touches our need for wonder and beauty. It is a memoir that ultimately astonishes.
Judith Hazlett
Wagamese's story about growing up Native in Canada in the last half of the 20th century, is occasionally painful to read, but strength and optimism are evident in every line. A beautiful poetic writer.
Wagamese takes us into the life on a young Native man growing to maturity in a different culture. This book is filled with lessons for each of us.
I really liked the content of this book, which I would give a 4 out of 5. But I did not enjoy the format - short 2-3 page stories.
Nina Kabatoff
Wow! It's a healing book. I like how Wagamese incorporates nature with stories of his past. Moved me.
Patricia L.
Very simple brilliance.
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Richard Wagamese is one of Canada's foremost Native authors and storytellers. Working as a professional writer since 1979 he's been a newspaper columnist and reporter, radio and television broadcaster and producer, documentary producer and the author of eleven titles from major Canadian publishers.

An esteemed public speaker and storyteller, he lives in the mountains outside of Kamloops BC with his...more
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