Richard Wagamese is one of Canada’s foremost Native authors and storytellers. Working as a professional writer since 1979 he’s been a newspaper columnist and reporter, radio and television broadcaster and producer, documentary producer and the author of eleven titles from major Canadian publishers.
He has been a success in every genre of writing he has tried. The 56 year-old Ojibway from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in Northwestern Ontario, became the first Native Canadian to win a National Newspaper Award for Column Writing in 1991. As a published author he has won the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction for his third novel Dream Wheels, in 2007 and the Alberta Writers Guild Best Novel Award for his debut novel, Keeper’n Me in 1994.
He published an anthology of his newspaper columns, The Terrible Summer in 1996 with Warwick Press and his second novel, A Quality of Light, in 1997 from Doubleday. A critically acclaimed memoir entitled For Joshua: An Ojibway Father Teaches His Son arrived in October 2002, Dream Wheels in 2006, and the novel Ragged Company and his acclaimed and bestselling memoir One Native Life in 2008. Richard followed that noteworthy double with a trio of books in 2011 – his newest memoir One Story, One Song in February, his first collection of poetry Runaway Dreams in July and his novel The Next Sure Thing in October..
A new novel, Indian Horse, arrives in January 2012.
He has twice won the Native American Press Association Award and the National Aboriginal Communications Society Award for his newspaper columns. Currently, his series One Native Life runs as a radio commentary and newspaper column in both Canada and the U.S. and was a weekly television commentary on CFJC-TV 7 in Kamloops, BC from 2007 to 2010.
Richard continues to lead writing and storytelling workshops entitled From the Oral Tradition to the Printed Page in communities across the country. He was bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops in June 2010, in recognition of his lifetime achievement in writing and publishing and was the 2011 Harvey Stevenson Southam Guest Lecturer in Writing at the University of Victoria, where he also taught a writing class. He is the 2012 recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in Media & Communications.
An esteemed public speaker and storyteller, he lives in the mountains outside Kamloops BC with his wife, Debra Powell, and Molly the Story Dog.