John grew up in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. He is raised in his first years by a legendary bush pilot grandfather and an elderly great-grandmother must take over and finish preparing the young boy for a life on his own. By the luck of his Grandfather Johnny's connections, John learns to fly the bush plane. Through the grit and determination to make something of his life, John excels in school and running and earns a ticket via a scholarship to Ottawa University. John has also gained his grandfather Johnny's appreciation for the Aborigines of central Canada, the Cree, Ojibwa, and Inuit. He makes these cultures the subject of his studies and after eight years is on the cusp of a Ph.D. in those cultures.
A research project is approved that will send John on a tour of the northern reaches of Manitoba and Nanuvat for the summer. His mission also includes work for the Interior Ministries delivering medical supplies and transporting a doctor who volunteers her summers to treat her native people, for this young doctor is a Cree. An exciting summer of treating patients of these remote areas, learning more about their unique but changing cultures, and a few adventures with the wildlife comes to a premature ending when they are called upon to rescue a fisherman mauled by a grizzly. Dr. Sky Bird chooses to stay with her patient as he is flown to a trauma center. John continues determined to complete the mission alone. It's a life-altering choice as John gets caught in a premature Arctic Clipper that forces him to crash land
John the teacher must learn to quickly transform into a student of the wilderness.
John is scheduled to become a Professor of Aboriginal Studies at his prestigious University, but only if he can survive the lessons only found in the Canadian bush. When
his summer of study amongst the First Nations Tribes of Manitoba and Nunavut ends in a plane crash, he finds himself in a unique dilemma. He must choose to turn his back on conventional
advice… to stay at the crash site when you are in the wilderness… or to walk out of the bush. In
the greatest test of his life, John must take what he has learned in college, research, life, and
from the Aborigines… and translate it into food, shelter, and clothing in one of the harshest
environments on earth… where the only grading system is a pass or fail.
These rigors will not be survived by knowledge alone. John must rely upon the intangibles… his
undying hopes; the many loves of his life; his relationships with his earth, the wisdom of the people he has
met in his life's journey, and the wolves of the untamed bush. If he is to survive the present… it
will be things of his past giving knowledge and wisdom, and the hope for his future that will sustain him.