Sunday, October 07, 2012

Richard Wagamese

     The following is a short biography on an Aboriginal role model, Richard Wagamese, that my fiance and I completed for our Aboriginal Studies course. This biography could have easily been pages and pages but, as we are making a book out of our class's assignments, we were limited on space.

aboriginal role model, ojibway author

“Richard Wagamese is an Ojibway in search of definition through writing, living and reflection.”
- Richard Wagamese

Richard Wagamese has stated that if a student were to learn about him as an individual, the most important thing he would want them to know is that, 

I never quit. I never say that I cannot do something and I never let a lack of knowledge stop
me from gaining it. I have overcome tremendous barriers and become successful despite
them. I believe that the only barriers that prevent me from becoming more are the ones I
create myself - and I've learned to overcome those as well.[1]

Born on October 14, 1955, Richard Wagamese is an Ojibway author from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in northwestern Ontario. Richard, however, is a self described, “…city raised kid,” who spent his childhood in the foster care system before being formally adopted by a family in southern Ontario[2]. Richard’s childhood forced him to face many difficult situations that contributed to him dropping out of school in Grade 9.[3]These experiences were only a few of many that lead Richard to begin the search for his identity, a theme that has fuelled his writing throughout his career.[4]       

The work of Richard Wagamese is nothing short of inspirational. As a professional author of thirty-three years, Richard has experienced success in all genres and styles of writing including newspaper columns, memoirs, poetry, novels, fiction and non-fiction. In 1991, Richard became the first Aboriginal Canadian to win the National Newspaper Award for Column Writing, but that would only be the start of his success. Richard’s work now boasts titles such as the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction, the Alberta Writers Guild Best Novel Award, the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature and his memoir, One Native Life, has been featured on The Globe and Mail’s 100 Best Books of 2008.[5] Although each of his pieces is uniquely different, Richard has shared that, 

…if I had to choose one consistent theme it would be that the search for identity is a lifelong process. We become different people through circumstance and we rediscover ourselves through circumstance too. I will never stop learning who I am until my journey here is over. Truth and discovery is a lifelong pursuit.[6]

Still actively writing, Richard now resides in Kamloops, British Columbia with his wife, Debra, and their dog, Molly.[7]


Online Presence
To learn more about Richard and his work, follow Richard Wagamese through his:

References  
- Grose Education Media. (2006). Richard Wagamese. Retrieved October 4, 2012, from http://www.groseducationalmedia.ca/wagamese.html

- Powell, Debra. (2011). Richard Wagamese’s Drunk Driving Charges Caused by PTSD: The Kamloops Daily News. Retrieved October 4, 2012 from http://www.kamloopsnews.ca/article/20110629/KAMLOOPS0303/110629900/-1/kamloops/richard-          wagamese-8217-s-drunk-driving-charges-caused-by-ptsd 
- Wagamese, Richard. Personal communication, October 2, 2012.
- Wagamese, Richard. “Changing the world one story at a time…” Richard Wagamese. Retrieved October 2012, from www.richardwagamese.com
  

End Notes


[1] Wagamese, Richard. Personal communication, October 2, 2012
[2] Grose Education Media. (2006). Richard Wagamese. Retrieved October 4, 2012, from http://www.groseducationalmedia.ca/wagamese.html
[3] Wagamese, Richard. Personal communication, October 2, 2012
[4] Wagamese, Richard. Personal communication, October 2, 2012
[5] Wagamese, Richard. “Changing the world one story at a time…” Richard Wagamese. Retrieved October 2012, from
[6] Wagamese, Richard. Personal communication, October 2, 2012
[7] Wagamese, Richard. “Changing the world one story at a time…” Richard Wagamese. Retrieved October 2012, from

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