Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Review: Ojibwes: Native American Peoples

Ojibwes: Native American Peoples, Sierra Adare, Gareth Stevens Publishing, Pleasantville, NY 2003.
This book introduced me to a people I had not hear of, at least by this name.  I had heard of the Chippewa.  The name preferred by the group themselves is Anishinaabe.  It would be accurate to call them the Great Lakes Indians, because their traditional land was around the Great Lakes on both the Canada side and the U.S. side.  Today they number about 120,000 on the U.S. side and at least 40,000 in Canada.  Their history includes the encroachment of Whites, and other Native American groups who had been forced out of the East.  Their land became smaller and smaller.  They were placed on reservations, but with the promise of continued hunting on their traditional lands.  They have had to go through the courts to reestablish this right.  The reservation period was sad as the traditional ways of supporting oneself were gone.  They would use hunting, harvesting of wild rice, and harvesting of maple to make sugar as their primary means of support.  They are also known for birch bark canoes.  There was also a period of forced assimilation with boarding schools and forced migration to urban areas.  However through all this the culture has survived.  Today they have Native American schools, taught in Ojibwe, and with cultural lessons. 

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