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Anishinaabe Way: Lives, Words and Stories of Ojibwe People

Spirit Tree -photo by Travis Novitsky

"Anishinaabe Way: Lives, Words and Stories of Ojibwe People" is a radio series that explores the many facets of Ojibwe life.  As part of the series you will hear the words and stories of Anishinaabe people, including artists, poets, doctors, scientists, elders and children.

"Anishinaabe Way: Lives, Words and Stories of Ojibwe People" is an original series produced by Staci Lola Drouillard. Staci is a descendent of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa who lives in her hometown of Grand Marais, Minnesota.  Music for the series is by Minnesota Ojibwe artist, Keith Secola.

Funding for the series is provided by the Minnesota Legacy Fund and WTIP, Community Radio.


What's On:

Anishinaabe Way: Jonathan Thunder

Jonathan Thunder is a painter and digital media artist who was born on the Red Lake Reservation, raised in the Twin Cities, and currently resides in Duluth. In this segment, he shares his thoughts on dream imagery and some urban influences that have appeared in his paintings. He explains the choices that Native American artists have in classifying their work and the complications involved with using "traditional" images in works of modern art. He also tells the story of his first solo exhibition and the courage required to show highly personal artwork to a larger audience. In closing, Jonathan shares his experience animating the Onondaga Creation & Peacemaker Story, a film he created for the 2015 LaCrosse World Championships.

More art and information is available at www.thunderfineart.com.

(Photo of Jonathan Thunder by Jason S. Ordaz, courtesy of the Institute of American Indian Arts, 2016; other photos by Jonathan Thunder)
 

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Linda LeGarde Grover

Anishinaabe Way: Author Linda LeGarde Grover

"The Road Back to Sweetgrass" (U of MN Press 2016) is the second novel by Duluth author Linda LeGarde Grover. Set in northern Minnesota, this story follows a trio of American Indian women, from the 1970s to the present, observing how their lives intersect on the fictional Mozhay Point reservation. In this interview, the author shares a reading from the book and explains the historical challenges faced by Native people during the Termination era of American Indian history. She also discusses the role that humor plays in the telling of a story that is both bittersweet, tragic and sometimes funny.

(Photo courtesy of U of MN Press)
 

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Anishinaabe Way: The Inherent Right of Sovereignty, Part 5

April McCormick works in the Land Trust office on the Grand Portage reservation. She defines the various types of land ownership at Grand Portage, and the tribe's land acquisition initiative, an effort that has resulted in a 98% ownership of lands held in trust by the tribe. Land repatriation is also a priority at the Red Cliff Reservation, where the tribe recently finished work on Frog Bay Tribal National Park, the first tribal owned and operated National Park in the country.
 

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Red Cliff Tribal Chair Bryan Bainbridge

Anishinaabe Way: The Inherent Right of Sovereignty, Part 4

The Inherent Right of Sovereignty Part IV examines the sometimes complicated relationship that area tribes have with regard to environmental regulation and jurisdiction over water quality issues in our region. We hear from former Fond du Lac Chairwoman Karen Diver about the unique responsibility that tribes have as sovereign nations to protect their surroundings and Grand Portage Chair Norman Deschampe who explains federal jurisdiction over water quality on the reservation. We also talk with Red Cliff Tribal Chair Bryan Bainbridge, who candidly shares the struggles that he and Red Cliff are experiencing over 1,400 barrels of waste material that were dumped into Lake Superior between
1959-1962 and their effort to uncover what is actually in the barrels and who is responsible for cleaning them up.

(Photo of Bryan Bainbridge courtesy of the Red Cliff Reservation)
 

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Anishinaabe Way: Nevada Littlewolf on RAIL

Nevada Littlewolf is the Executive Director and a founding member of RAIL: Rural & American Indigenous Leadership. RAIL is a non-profit organization based in NE Minnesota that is focused on growing women's leadership in rural and American Indigenous communities. In this segment she talks about her experience as the first Native American woman to serve on the Virginia City Council, the history of RAIL and the reasons why an organization like this is needed.

RAIL's website is www.railconnects.org
  
{Photo courtesy of Nevada Littlewolf}
 

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Chairwoman Diver

Anishinaabe Way: The Inherent Right of Sovereignty, Part 3

Karen Diver has been the Tribal Chair of the Fond du Lac Reservation since 2007. She was recently named Special Assistant to the President for Native American Affairs. She will be the first elected tribal leader to hold such a high level position at the White House. In this interview, she discusses the role that gaming plays in economic development and tribal self-determination. She also shares what accomplishments she is most proud of.

(Photo courtesy of Karen Diver)
 

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Sonny Meyers

Anishinaabe Way: The Inherent Right of Sovereignty, Part 2

Article 11 of the Treaty of 1854 provides for the retained rights to hunting, fishing and gathering of resources in lands ceded by Anishinaabe tribes in 1854.

Sonny Meyers, the Director of the 1854 Treaty Authority, and Grand Portage Tribal Chair Norman Deschampe, explain the meaning of ceded territory in exchange for retained rights and how tribal resource management differs from the State of Minnesota's approach to resource management.

Director Meyers also stresses the importance of educating the public and local officials about treaty rights and reflects on public perceptions about the "tribal take" versus the "tribal give."
 

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April McCormick

Anishinaabe Way: The Inherent Right of Sovereignty, Part 1

In Part I of the six part series, "The Inherent Right of Sovereignty, in the Words and Experiences of Anishinaabe People," we are introduced to Professor Jill Doerfler, the Head of the American Indian Studies Department at UMD. She explains the inherent right of sovereignty from both current and historical perspectives and shares the goals of The Tribal Sovereignty Institute, a new community-based research and education initiative at UMD.

We also meet April (Clearwater-Day) McCormick, the Roads and Realty Manager of the Grand Portage Reservation. She talks about her experience as a graduate of UMD's Master of Tribal Administration and Governance program and shares her insights about the uniqueness of tribal sovereignty as it applies to her current work, as well as her former position as Secretary-Treasurer of the Grand Portage Reservation, which she held from 2011-2014.
 

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Dorothy Dora Whipple, courtesy of Wendy Makoons Geniusz

Anishinaabe Way: Dorothy Dora Whipple

"Chi-mewinzha" means "A Long Time Ago" in the Ojibwe language. It's also the title of a book of bilingual Ojibwe stories by Leech Lake elder Dorothy Dora Whipple. The stories in the book were carefully transcribed by co-editors Wendy Makoons Geniusz and Brendan Fairbanks. The book is illustrated by Annmarie Geniusz.

In this segment, Ms. Whipple tells the Ojibwe version of the story "When you Make a Tobacco Offering" and Wendy Makoons Geniusz shares the English translation.

"Chi-mewinzha" Ojibwe Stories from Leech Lake" is published by the University of Minnesota Press, 2015.

 

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Mrs. Josephine Zimmerman and Alice LaPlante, at Chippewa City

Anishinaabe Way: Josephine Zimmerman

Josephine Zimmerman was the first person confirmed in the Chippewa Church, more formally known as St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. In a letter she sent to the Cook County Historical Society in 1971, Mrs. Zimmerman relates her memories of the church and tells the story of the 1907 forest fire, that nearly burned the church to the ground. Mrs. Zimmerman and family lost their house to the fire. Built in 1895, this year the Chippewa Church celebrated its 120 year Anniversary.

 

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