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Richard Wagamese (October 14, 1955 – March 10, 2017) was an Ojibwe author and journalist from the Wabaseemoong Independent Nations in what is now known as northwestern Ontario. He was best known for his 2012 novel Indian Horse, which won the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature in 2013, was a competing title in the 2013 edition of Canada Reads, and was adapted into a 2017 feature-length film, Indian Horse, released after his death.
In 1979 Wagamese began his first job as a newspaper author, working at New Breed, a First Nations publication. With the encouragement of Lorna Crozier among others, he later worked as a writer for the Calgary Herald. He won a National Newspaper Award for writing in 1991. His journalism also won the Native American Press Association Award twice and the National Aboriginal Communications Society award. His newspaper columns can be found in his anthology The Terrible Summer. Wagamese stopped working full-time in journalism in 1993 but continued to write as a freelance journalist for publications such as The Globe and Mail.
His debut novel Keeper 'n Me was published in 1994. The book was co-winner with Roberta Rees S Beneath the Faceless Mountain of the Georges Bugnet Award for Novel at the 1995 Writers' Guild of Alberta's Alberta Literary Awards gala.
He published five other novels, a book of poetry, two children's books, and five non-fiction books, including two memoirs. He also wrote for the television series North of 60. Throughout his writing life, he was renowned for his riveting live readings, consisting of passages from his works, traditional stories, anecdotes, and even stand-up comedy.
In 2012 he was given an Indspire Award as a representative of media and communications. In 2012 he also served as the Harvey Stevenson Southam Guest Lecturer in journalism at the University of Victoria. In 2013, he won the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize and the inaugural Burt Award for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Literature. Other awards included the Kouhi Award for outstanding contributions to the literature of Northwestern Ontario and the 2015 Writers' Trust of Canada's Matt Cohen Award for his body of work.
In the same year, Canada's Super Channel announced that it was funding a film adaptation of Indian Horse, to be directed by Stephen Campanelli and written by Dennis Foon. Clint Eastwood is listed as one of the many executive producers who contributed to the making of the film. Following Super Channel's filing for creditor protection, the film Indian Horse instead premiered theatrically at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.