Canadian author and journalist Richard Wagamese (Indian Horse, One Native Life) died at home in Kamloops earlier today. He was 61. From CBC Books:

Wagamese was the author of 15 books, ranging from poetry to fiction to memoir to young adult. His most recent book, Embers is a collection of Ojibway meditations. It is currently shortlisted for a on the shortlist for the BC Book Prize.

Wagamese was born in 1955 in the Ojibway Wabasseemoong First Nation in northwestern Ontario. He was removed from his family by the Children’s Aid Society as part of the Sixties Scoop and ended up in foster care in suburban Toronto. He struggled for many years before he going on a traditional Ojibway camping trip when he was 22 years old, where an elder told him he had the gift for storytelling.

He began his writing career in 1979, first as a journalist. then as a radio and television broadcaster. His debut novel, Keeper ‘n Me, came out in 1994 and won the Alberta Writers Guild’s Best Novel Award.

On her Twitter feed, Canadian broadcaster Shelagh Rogers wrote, “Heartbroken over the death of my friend and chosen brother Richard Wagamese. He was story. He was love. RIP dear one.” You can listen to Rogers’ 2014 broadcast with Wagamese here.

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