Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 15
- Grade: 10
For the Anishinaabeg people, who span a vast geographic region from the Great Lakes to the Plains and beyond, stories are vessels of knowledge. They are bagijiganan, offerings of the possibilities within Anishinaabeg life. Existing along a broad narrative spectrum, from aadizookaanag (traditional or sacred narratives) to dibaajimowinan (histories and news)—as well as everything in between—storytelling is one of the central practices and methods of individual and community existence. Stories create and understand, survive and endure, revitalize and persist. They honor the past, recognize the present, and provide visions of the future. In remembering, (re)making, and (re)writing stories, Anishinaabeg storytellers have forged a well-traveled path of agency, resistance, and resurgence. Respecting this tradition, this groundbreaking anthology features twenty-four contributors who utilize creative and critical approaches to propose that this people’s stories carry dynamic answers to questions posed within Anishinaabeg communities, nations, and the world at large. Examining a range of stories and storytellers across time and space, each contributor explores how narratives form a cultural, political, and historical foundation for Anishinaabeg Studies. Written by Anishinaabeg and non-Anishinaabeg scholars, storytellers, and activists, these essays draw upon the power of cultural expression to illustrate active and ongoing senses of Anishinaabeg life. They are new and dynamic bagijiganan, revealing a viable and sustainable center for Anishinaabeg Studies, what it has been, what it is, what it can be.
About the authors
Jill Doerfler (White Earth Anishinaabe) is Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota–Duluth.
Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark (Turtle Mountain Anishinaabe) is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Victoria.
Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair is Anishinaabe, originally from St. Peter's (Little Peguis) Indian Settlement. He is an assistant professor in the departments of English and Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. His essays, articles, and short stories have appeared in books and journals throughout Turtle Island. In 2009, he co-edited (with Renate Eigenbrod) a double issue of The Canadian Journal of Native Studies (#29; 1 & 2) and was a featured author in The Exile Book of Native Canadian Fiction and Drama, edited by Daniel David Moses (2011). His upcoming book Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water (co-edited with Warren Cariou) is an anthology of Manitoba Aboriginal writing from the past three centuries (Portage & Main Press). Another, Centering Anishinaabeg Studies (co-edited with Jill Doerfler and Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark), is a collection of critical and creative works on Anishinaabeg story (Michigan State University Press). A former high-school drama and language arts teacher, Niigaan has authored a number of teachers' guides for Portage & Main Press. He currently lives in Winnipeg, where he is completing his PhD in Anishinaabeg literatures and traditional expression.
“Centering Anishinaabeg Studies is a pathbreaking book that features fascinating contributions from many of the finest scholars working in the field today. Ranging widely across methodological perspectives and the breadth of the Anishinaabeg world, this book is indispensable for the field and a model for future work in Indigenous Studies.”
Jean M. O’Brien, University of Minnesota
“An extraordinary collection of essays and stories that deepen the lengthy, richly substantive scholarship of their people in Canada and the US.”
Centering Anishinaabeg StudiesThis scholarly anthology of 24 essays is written by Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, activists and artists, who theorize the link between stories and contemporary Anishinaabe thought. Anishinaabeg is the name the Odawa, Ojibwe and Algonquin peoples prefer to name themselves. Their thesis is that Anishinaabeg identity is articulated through the structure, content and context of oral stories. Declaring stories as a way of knowing is deemed as resistive of colonial hegemony since stories are social, dwell in the oral tradition, are based upon relationships, and respond to history and time. Seven sections called “stories” consider identity, tribal law, politics and art. Annishinaabeg stories are also embedded in the essays.
Caution: Use of the term “Indian”.
Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2013-2014.
Other titles by Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair
Conversations about Indigenous Manhood
150 Years Retold
Colonialism in Canada
Indigenous Men and Masculinities
Legacies, Identities, Regeneration
Empowering Grassroots Citizens
Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water