It’s 1963, Jean-Yves Soucy is 18 and dreams of being a fire warden scanning the boreal forest from a fire tower. But he ends up at an equipment depot between Val-d’Or and Chibougamau. To his delight, he is located near the Cree community of Waswanipi. With two Cree guides, including a man named William Saganash, he will be canoeing through the lakes and rivers of the region.
On each encounter with the Crees, Jean-Yves expects to see a new world. Instead, he meets a different civilization, as different from his own as Chinese civilization. Yet he knows nothing about it.
He wrote Waswanipi because Romeo Saganash, son of William, insisted: “You have to write that, Jean-Yves. About your relationship with my father and the others, how you saw the village. You got to see the end of an era.”
Provides a Cree-English glossary.