Richard Wagamese

everyone wants to tell an exciting story

Leonard Cohen once wrote a book of poems called Let Us Compare Mythologies. I don't recall the gist of them now but the title has always stuck in my head. Maybe it's because the inference is so arresting.

pondering the musical score to a full life

I often ponder the soundtrack of my life. It's a fun exercise. At the age I am, it means that I have been musically conscious for part of six decades from the late 1950s to the first decade of the new millennium.

science and magic share our universe

As an avid fan of science I've been reading a book on theoretical physics lately. It's not exactly the kind of cuddle up in front of the fire material you might expect of someone whose home is nestled in the mountains but it fascinates me.

Enthusiasm in middle age is an inside job

I was reading one of the science websites I visit regularly and was fascinated to learn about the number of people turning to the latest miracle cure.

It’s a guy thing

There's a long list of things that I can't do in this life. When I look at my skills and abilities the majority of them all seem to lie within the realm of communications and writing. Aside from that I've never been much of a grease-and-oil kind of guy.

inferno reveals our true priorities

Around here the weather has been a phenomenon. We're sitting in the middle of BC's Interior and there hasn't been a break from the heat.

leaving tonto behind

I've been a journalist for 30 years. In that time, I've worked in radio, television and newspapers. Most of my time has been spent focusing on native issues and telling the story of aboriginal people to those who might not understand us all that well.

leadership demands humility as well as strength

Soon there will be a new national chief of the Assembly of First Nations. For the majority of Canadians this is about as exciting as a byelection in Old Crow but for Canada's Treaty Indian population, it's significant.

canada can break your heart

On Canada Day around the country there were huge expensive parties aimed at celebrating the birth of a nation in1867.

What goes around, comes around

Once when I was in the depths of my alcoholism and homeless I woke up without my shoes. Someone had taken them. They were lined winter shoes and I'd bought them with the last of the money I had.

Short ceremonies do little justice to a long history

Every summer, at the equinox, we celebrate National Aboriginal Day in Canada. It's the one day of the year when the collective Canadian conscience is meant to focus on the indians in their midst.

when nothing changes nothing changes

When I look back at the last 12 years of life as an aboriginal person in Canada, not much has changed. Personally, my life has grown in leaps and bounds and there isn't a moment of my present reality I would swap.

We welcome spring … and guilt

It's taking us some time to get our boat in the water. Spring is fast blooming into summer and the lake looks fabulous in the thin breeze of evening. The loons are nesting and calling to each other.

Coming home can be a return to paradise

There's a new red house at the top of the slope of land that stretches down to the lake. It sits rather proudly among the trees. Driving down the road it appears between them in a bold slash of colour.

bringing back the buffalo

Everything is energy. Everything moves in a circle. There are no endings only new beginnings.

let the public know the horror

I've been a journalist for thirty years. I got my first job as a reporter for a native newspaper called the New Breed in Regina in the spring of 1979.

What’s in a name? Lots!

I remember when I was a kid that there were only three places you could get information about Indians. It was the late 1950s and early 1960s and there weren't a lot of venues where real information was available.

earth day is everyones responsibility everyday

It's Earth Day. Here in the mountains that seems incongruous. As the sun peeks over the eastern ridge and splays fingers of light through the cleft and across the lake below us, it seems to me that it is always Earth Day.

beasties of the full moon and long shadow

There are wolf tracks on the gravel road. Normally I can walk the circuit the dog and I take each morning and not notice anything disparate or out of line. But these tracks halted me.

Swear words arrived later

One of the first things people want you to do for them when they meet you is to teach them how to swear in Indian. Everyone wants to know the cuss words first.