It is 1963, Jean-Yves Soucy is 18 and looking for a summer job. He dreams of being a fire warden scanning the boreal forest from a fire tower. But to his dismay he is sent to an equipment depot somewhere between Val-d'Or and Chibougamau in Northern Quebec. His disappointment vanishes when he learns that the depot is located near a Cree community and that he will have two Cree guides, including a man named William Saganash, and his work will involve canoeing through the lakes and rivers of the region.
On each encounter with the Crees, on each of the long trips across water or through the bush, Jean-Yves expects to see a new world but realizes he is meeting a different civilization, as different from his own as Chinese civilization. Yet he knows nothing about it. Nor does he understand the nature surrounding them as do his Cree guides, and friends.
Jean-Yves Soucy wrote this story 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. ”
He unfortunately passed away before completing it. However, in his poignant Afterword, Romeo Saganash provides a finishing touch to this story of an unlikely meeting of two worlds.