One Native Life

One Native Life

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:

In 2005, award-winning writer Richard Wagamese moved with his partner to a cabin outside Kamloops, B.C. In the crisp mountain air Wagamese felt a peace he'd seldom known before. Abused and abandoned as a kid, he'd grown up feeling there was nowhere he belonged. For years, only alcohol and moves from town to town seemed to ease the pain.

In One Native Life, Wagamese looks back down the road he has travelled in reclaiming his identity and talks about the things he has learned as a human being, a man and an Ojibway in his fifty-two years. Whether he's writing about playing baseball, running away with the circus, attending a sacred bundle ceremony or meeting Pierre Trudeau, he tells these stories in a healing spirit. Through them, Wagamese celebrates the learning journey his life has been.

Free of rhetoric and anger despite the horrors he has faced, Wagamese's prose resonates with a peace that has come from acceptance. Acceptance is an Aboriginal principle, and he has come to see that we are all neighbours here. One Native Life is his tribute to the people, the places and the events that have allowed him to stand in the sunshine and celebrate being alive.

ISBN: 9781553653127
Characteristics: 257 pages ;,22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 17, 2020

Decent writing, easy to read.

May 05, 2020

One Native life is a beautiful book full of life lessons, interesting stories and a heartfelt experience overall. Whether Richard is talking about his connection to the land, his Ojibwa roots (which I can happily say I share with him) or the people that helped him become the compassionate, caring man he is today, the book is always so warm and loving. It is extremely evident that Richard poured his soul into this book, as every single word fits perfectly to create this spiritual journey that sucks you into its story and makes you want to read more. One Native Life is a true beauty of modern writing, and deserves every bit of praise it receives.
Even if you are not of Ojibwa or Native American origin, the book is relatable in the stories it tell, and is full of moments that will bring you to the brink of crying.
I am happy to rate One Native Life a 10/10, 5/5 or any other sort of rating given to books.
@AhzekAhriman of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

This is truly an amazing book. As many people here in Canada but also around the world may have read the story of Indian Horse, in this book Richard Wagamese discusses his pathway into re-identifying his true self as well as the culture of Ojibways. Richard writes about his experiences throughout his career of success from travelling to amazing places, and even meeting Pierre Trudeau. The amazing thing about this book was the amount of forgiveness and acceptance Richard has. During these unprecedented times, this book was a breath of fresh air and is a very interesting book about one of Canada’s foremost Native authors and storytellers. 5/5
@momo of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Both Poignant and poetic. He does not dwell on the tragedies in his childhood but instead talks about how he grew to be a man in touch with his roots. A talented writer.

Apr 04, 2016

This was a very good book - a cross between his actual life and philosophy. I did, though, enjoy "Medicine Walk" and "Indian Horse" more.

Jul 16, 2015

July 16 2015.....I have sped though this book in 3 days, which is something for me. I bought it a couple of years ago, after reading Indian Horse for the Canada Reads contest. It has sat on my shelf, waiting for me, and I picked it up this summer because I needed a book by an FNMI author for the summer reading challenge in the Chinook Arch System. Well, all I can say is....I am so glad that I read it NOW, while I am at the lake, and that I am enjoying it thoroughly. He inspired me to get my butt in gear and get out there and take advantage of what I have, namely a lake just sitting down 24 steps from my cabin! I spent 2 hours in my little rowboat last night (ouch, next time I bring a pillow for my butt) and I also set up my tent on the dock last night, and enjoyed a wonderful view of the stars (one good thing about a moonless night) and a treat of a great blue heron fishing ten feet from me in the morning. I also got very hot in the morning in that little sauna of a tent, and then realized that I could just jump in the lake. I would never have done that if I had slept up in the cabin. Thanks Richard, it was wonderful, and you will be on my mind a lot for the rest of the summer! Since I am just 3 years younger than Richard, I was able to relate to a lot of his life's news happenings. His story 'Bringing Back The Living Room' was one of my favourites, but there were many more as well. I will be re-reading this book, and will recommend it to my friends. It's a keeper!

Aug 06, 2014

One of the best books I've read in a long time. Beautifully poetic.heart warming and heart felt. Richard Wagamese shares his life's learnings as teachings in a positive light. His capacity to transcend the words to reach the reader gives one much to ponder. A true literary gift filled with treasures of wisdom.

smc01 Oct 19, 2013

Richard Wagamese is one of the best writers in Canada today. Reading this book will give you insight into native issues in Canada, but also human issues as well. There is much to ponder and admire about his writing. For readers of Indian Horse, this book offers great background about the origins of that novel.

donnabell Jun 06, 2013

The story of an Ojibway man born in 1950 in Ontario. The style is one of short stories that are almost poetic & you will put the book down often to relect on the meaning & beauty of what has been written. A Canadian gem!

Jun 07, 2011

This is one spectacular book. It's well written, it's interesting and it gives the reader some things to ponder as they rush through their busy life.
This is fantastic!

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top