Set against a backdrop of grey spruce and muskeg, Cowboy tells the story of Gilles Desches, a twenty-something who moves from Montreal to Grande-Ourse, a northern Quebec town haunted by the grisly memory of a twelve-year-old murder.
Located at the back of beyond, Grande-Ourse is a dismal place with a bleak future. Until, that is, a Quebec consortium buys up the town, wanting to turn it into a hunting and fishing paradise for wealthy Americans seeking city comforts in the middle of nature.
Working as a clerk for the Outfitters' general store, Gilles is confronted by a harsh reality in which Whites are pitted against Natives. He tries to understand, tries to fit in, but only manages to be caught in the middle of two colliding worlds, discovering a colourful cast of characters in the process.