Richard Wagamese

Travels with Two Skunks

When I was in my late 30s, I travelled to the Temagami area of Northern Ontario. There was a retreat there for native men who had experienced…

the mountain ash and legends alive

Stories come in the refraction of light through the trees. They are born in the interplay of shadow and light, given percussive counterpoint by the…

The sharing circle and a way to change the world

There’s a circle of stones in the front yard. The dog and I gathered them one day in the old pickup and brought them here from the area near a…

we are all star people

In the mountains the night sky is startlingly near. Darkness falls gradually here, the line of things lengthening in shadow all languid and loose…

Coming to Beedahbun

The moon on the water is a pale eye. Benign, it hangs suspended, unmoving like a dream upon awakening.

leo rozema and taking flight

The sky that illustrates the curve of this mountain is an impossible blue. Cloudless, it becomes at once near enough to touch and as distant as a…

What it comes to mean

There are mornings here when the quiet comes to fill you. You walk the line of lake cautiously, not wanting to break the spell of it.

the doe deer and finding harmony

The land is a sacred being. You learn that when you spend enough time with her. Eventually, you come to regain your senses and you discover that…

Novice firekeeper learns of our shared humanity

There’s an old cast-iron woodstove on the corner of the deck overlooking the lake. It used to heat this cabin.

The tobacco offering and stripping it down

In the corner of the yard nearest the gravel road is an old wringer washer. It sits beneath a fir tree with its barrel filled with earth and dirt and…

listen to the trees

We are surrounded by red. Against the flank of mountain the pine trees wither. Within them the pine beetles flourish and as they eat their way…

returning to the living room

In our home the television is hardly ever on. There’s something about having the open land a step away that makes it irrelevant somehow.

wind is the carrier of song

There’s a hard push from the west that sends stark cumulous banks over the top of the mountain and in the thrust of it through the trees…

all the mornings of the world

There are moments here when the light comes to fill you. When the sun floods across the peak of the far mountain and everything is thrown into a veil…

The forest not the trees

In the mountains, just before sunrise, the world is an ashen place. Even the green tends to a murky grey and the trees loom in the near distance like…

The flag on the mountain

Someone put a flag up on the mountain. Standing at the edge of the lake it flaps and waves high up where they helicopter-logged a few years back.

Building a home, building a life

This house we call a home nestles between towering pines and fir. It’s 25 years old now, built by the knowing hand of a 72-year-old bachelor…

Walking the territory

These are the days of summer’s end. Above the mountains clouds become a heavier grey ominous with snow that’s a mere month or so away.

the birth of super injun

I got my first writing job in 1979. It was as a reporter for a now defunct newsmagazine called New Breed in Regina, Saskatchewan. I lied to get it.

the system rules for radicals and free at 50

We love to ski. There’s a resort a short drive from the cabin and we head there as often as we can in the winter months.