One Native Life by Richard Wagamese
Reviewed by Arlene Anderson
For himself and for Canada! Richard Wagamese says he wrote his memoir, One Native Life, in part for personal reasons: to find light in the shadows of the abuse and abandonment he experienced as a child, but also to let Canadians see the "character, the spirit, and the soul of native people all across the country." On both counts, it would appear, he has succeeded.
"One Native Life" is much less an account of the facts of the author's life than it is a telling of his life's philosophy. It is grounded in his tribe and the land. His words paint a landscape that holds the mystery of our existence. It is here, on the land, we sense, he is most at home with himself. "When you walk the territory of your being," Wagamese says, "the truth is everywhere around you."