Ojibway author Louise Erdrich.
Louise Erdrich grew up in North Dakota and is of Ojibway and German-American heritage. Her second book, "Love Medicine" was the winner of both the Book Critics Award for Fiction and the Los Angeles Times award for best novel of 1985, and has appeared in more than ten foreign editions. "Love Medicine" comes alive with mystery, music and magic. It is a powerful saga of two Native American families-the Kashpaws and the Lamartines. From the opening scene-high spirited, hard-drinking June Kashpaw's death in the snow of a North Dakota reservation- Louise Erdrich's award-winning story springs to raging life. It is a multi-generational portrait of new truths and secrets whose time has come; of those who left the Indian land and those who stayed behind; of strong men and women caught in an unforgettable drama of danger, desire, and the healing power called Love Medicine.
Ojibway NHL hockey player Chris Simon.
Chris Simon is perhaps one of the NHL's premiere Native Hockey players. In 1996 he was a major contributor to the success of the Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche. With a reputation for toughness and size he has quickly climbed to the top of the NHL. His play in the 1996 playoffs was exemplary, scoring key goals when they counted most. Chris is now playing for the Washington Capitols, after an off-season trade in 1996. Since breaking into the NHL over three years ago, Simon has been highly regarded by the Native American community, especially the Ojibway/Anishinabe people of Canada. He has emerged as a strong rolemodel for Canada's First Nation youth and American Indian children in the U.S.. As a recovering alcoholic, Chris has set a positive example for Ojibway and other Native youth to follow. Today, Chris spends much of his free time hunting and fishing, which he feels is much healthier than hanging around bars and clubs. Upon retiring from hockey, he would like to return to his home in Ontario and live a small town lifestyle. Chris does not hesitate to credit his Ojibway family and friends from his hometown and Reserve in Ontario for their support and encouragement. Chris spends time during the off-season working with Native youth sponsoring hockey clinics and giving advice whenever asked.
Ojibway Elder, Teacher, Storyteller Maude Kegg.
Maude Kegg is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibway of Minnesota. For many years she was an interpretive guide at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum of the Minnesota Historical Society. She recently received a National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Maude is a highly respected elder who has devoted her life to the survival and continuation of the Ojibway culture and language. She is renowned for her Ojibway bead work, birch bark baskets and porcupine quill work. She is also one of the few remaining Ojibway story tellers who continue to pass on the oral history and stories of the Ojibway people in the ancient Ojibway language. An account of her story telling can be found in John D. Nichols' "Portage lake: Memories of an Ojibwe Childhood." From 1971 to 1986 John Nichols recorded the stories that Maude Kegg told him; building birch bark and reed mat wigwams, boiling maple sap into syrup, and harvesting turtles and wild rice. Dictated in her Ojibway language these memories provide a fascinating view of traditional Anishinaabe lifestyles as they confronted Euro-American settlers in the early decades of this century.
Ojibway Artist Norval Morrisseau.
Norval Morrisseau is
arguably the most well known Ojibway Artist, perhaps even the most recognized
First Nations artist in the world. He is the founder of the Canadian-originated
school of art called "Woodland" or sometimes "Legend"
painting. His work has influenced a large group of younger Ojibwe and Cree
artists, among them Blake Debassige, Tom Chee Chee and Leland Bell. Although
Morrisseau's work is not as well known in the US, particularly in the trendy
Indian Art world of Santa Fe, NM, his work has been exhibited in Canada
and Europe for decades.
Ojibway Elder/Activist/Writer/Spiritual Leader Edward Benton-Banai
Edward Benton Banai is a full-blooded Wisconsin Ojibway of the Fish Clan and a Spiritual Teacher of the Lac Court Orielles Band of the Ojibway Tribe. Eddie is the executive Director of the Red School House, St. Paul, MN., and is one if it's original founders in the late 1960s. Eddie was also directly involved with the original formation of the Minneapolis American Indian Movement formed in 1968 as a grassroots organization set up to watchdog the Minneapolis Police Dept. after years of racist attacks and harassment of Minneapolis' Indian community. The Red School House was one of AIM's initial "Indian Survival Schools." A pioneer in culture-based curriculum as well as in Indian alternative education, Eddie has achieved a long-standing ambition to set down the oral history of the Ojibway Nation with the publication of "The Mishomis Book," which is a representation of the life he lived as a youth within the family circle. He was very fortunate to have the companionship of tribal elders who possessed the memories and inherent wisdom of the Ojibway Nation and who carefully treasured and preserved these ancient traditions upon which his book is based. Today, Eddie Benton Banai is a respected educator, story-teller and spiritual leader. As a member of the Midewiwin, or Grand Medicine Society, Eddie continues his work passing on the sacred rites of this ancient Ojibway Religion.
Ojibway Author/Story-Teller/Scholar Basil Johnston
Basil Johnston is perhaps one of the leading Indian authors and scholars in Canada and the US. He has written eleven books including "The Manitous," "Ojibway Heritage," "Ojibway Ceremonies," "Ojibway Tales," and "Indian School Days" among others. He is one of the few fluent speakers of the ancient Ojibway language who also writes in that language. Basil Johnston is a linguist and lecturer in the Department of Ethnology at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Mr. Johnston also travels extensively throughout Canada and the US to speak about the Ojibway culture and language. He often visits Canada's and the United States' Ojibway reservations and schools where he continues to pass down the stories, customs, and history of the Ojibway people in the Ojibway oral tradition. Basil Johnston is from the Cape Crocker Ojibway Reserve in Ontario, Canada.
Ojibway Activist/Writer Winona LaDuke
Winona LaDuke, 37 years old, lives on the White Earth Chippewa Reservation in Northern Minnesota with her two children. LaDuke began working on Indian issues at a young age and spoke before the United Nations when just 18 years old. LaDuke attended and graduated from Harvard and then accepted the job of reservation principal of the local school and became involved with a lawsuit to recover lands that had been taken by the federal government and the logging industry from the White Earth Reservation. She then founded the White Earth Land Recovery Project and began the work of recovering some of the 800,000 acres of Ojibway land stolen by the government. In the 1980s, Winona LaDuke was a leader of the successful opposition to the James Bay hydroelectric projects and was named "the most prominent Native American environmental activist" by several publications. She next founded the Indigenous Womens' Network which she led to 1995's World Conference on Women in Beijing. In October of 1994, Winona was arrested while protesting the clear cutting of both old growth and new growth forests used to make phone books. In Spring of 1995, LaDuke organized and hosted a national tour with the Indigo Girls and other musical guests. The tour was known as the "Honor the Earth" tour, and was organized to raise money for local grassroots organizations. In March of 1995 LaDuke was nominated by Time magazine as one of "50 Leaders of the Future." In 1996, Winona LaDuke was selected by consumer advocate Ralph Nader to be his Vice Presidential running mate on the Green Party ticket.
Ojibway Elder/Tribal Chairman Roger Jourdain
Roger Jourdain, now 84 years-old, has spent most of his adult life participating in tribal government, state education and national Indian affairs on behalf of the Red Lake Band of Ojibway (Chippewa) in northern Minnesota. He has served as tribal chairman of the Red lake nation for 32 years. Mr. Jourdain has devoted countless hours working for the betterment of his people. He has become known across the nation for leadership, influence and positive growth for the Indian people. In the 1950s he was instrumental in the creation of the Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program. He is also one of the oldest active members of the Democratic Farmer Labor Party in Minnesota. He has worked for and against some of the leading Politicians of this century including Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. In addition to his interest in politics, Mr. Jourdain has taken up the cause of Indian elders. He feels that today's younger generation needs to follow the traditional spiritual values to be able to smell the smoke from the pipe.
Ojibway Activist Clyde Bellecourt
Clyde Bellecourt, born on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota in 1939, is one of the founders of the American Indian Movement (AIM). Along with Dennis Banks and George Mitchell, all three Ojibway men started AIM in Minneapolis in 1968 as a grassroots watchdog organization whose goal was to prevent the continual harassment and brutality of Minneapolis' urban Indians by the Minneapolis Police Dept. With the success of this goal behind them AIM went on to form a national organization with local chapters in cities across the nation. Clyde Bellecourt, although controversial even among Indian people, was instrumental in AIM's most notable protests and demonstrations; the march to Washington, D.C. and the take over of the BIA building there, as well as the AIM backed occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973. Today, Clyde Bellcourt is still fighting for Ojibway and Indian causes everywhere, taking up the issue of Indian Mascots/Logos in professional and college sports.
Ojibway Writer/Poet Jim Northrup
Jim Northrup lives on the Fond du Lac Ojibway Reservation
near Duluth, Minnesota. Jim is perhaps best known for his barbed humor and
wit, which truly reflects his Anishinabe identity and culture. His play
"Rez Road Follies," his book of poetry and short stories "Walking
the Rez Road," and his syndicated column "Fond du Lac Follies"
have defined him as a writer whose words transcend reservation boundaries,
while maintaining a profound sense of what it means to be an Ojibway person
living in today's modern world. Jim also recently finished a film with filmmakers
Mike Hazard and Mike Rivard called "With Reservations."
Ojibway Warrior Leonard Peltier
Much has been written and said of Leonard Peltier, who is Lakota and Ojibway. Currently serving two consecutive life terms in a Federal penitentiary for the alleged murder of two FBI agents near Pine Ridge, SD in 1975, Leonard has always, and continues to maintain his innocence. With the publication of Peter Matthiesen's book "In The Spirit of Crazy Horse," as well as the making of the documentary film "Incident at Oglala," and the further revelations of formerly classified documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, it has become quite clear during the twenty years Leonard has spent as a political prisoner that he has been wrongly accused and wrongly convicted of this crime. Leonard's will to survive, and his determination to fight for justice in the face of seemingly insurmountable opposition from his oppressors stands out as a shinning example of the modern "Indian Warrior." Before the incident at Oglala, Leonard was already proving himself to be a man of strength and courage through his involvement with the American Indian Movement, and particularly with his efforts to support and protect elders and "traditionalists" who called upon AIM for help during the "reign of terror" on Pine Ridge in the early seventies.
Ojibway Author/Scholar Gerald Vizenor
Like Basil Johnston, Gerald Vizenor is also one of the leading American Indian scholars in the the United States. Vizenor is from the White Earth Ojibway Reservation in Northwestern Minnesota. He has been a professor at the University of Minnesota and the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is currently a professor of Native American Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published numerous books including "The People Named The Chippewa," "Manifest Manners," "Heirs of Columbus," "Interior Landscapes," and the 1990 American Book Award winner "Griever: An American Monkey King in China." Vizenor has also written the prize-winning screenplay "Harold of Orange."
Ojibway NHL Coach of the Year Ted Nolan
Ted Nolan is from the Garden River Ojibway First Nation near Sault St. Marie, Ontario. He has been the head coach for the Buffalo Sabres since 1995 and is the only head coach in the NHL who is Native. In 1997, he was selected NHL Coach of the Year after only his second season. His hard work enabled the Sabres to reach the playoffs and defeat the Ottawa Senators in the first round, a feat no one expected of the team at the beginning of the season. Prior to his coaching career, which includes a successful tenure in the Canadian Jounior leagues, Nolan played professionally primarily for the Detroit Red Wings before a knee injury cut his playing career short. Mr. Nolan, who is described as an excellent teacher and student of hockey, spends much of his off time working with young First Nation kids. He credits his Ojibway parents for instilling a sense of hard work, ambition, perseverance and cultural pride all of which have helped him get to where he is today.
Ojibway Activist Dennis Banks.
Like Leonard Peltier, much has been written and said of Dennins Banks. His controversies aside, he has demonstrated his dedication and commitment to American Indian issues and struggles across the country and First Nation struggles in Canada for over 25 years. As the Co-founder of the American Indian Movement, Dennis has been in the trenches where the battles have been fought, and he has sacrificed much for the causes he believes in; for all Native People. Although much of the AIM work in the 1970s migrated to the courts, Dennis Banks and the American Indian Movement are still very active today supporting the work of other American Indian activists and in some cases still leading the way. Working with the International Indian Treaty Council in San Francisco, CA, Dennis and AIM have worked tirelessly in the past 15 years to bring the issues and struggles of the American Indians to a world wide audience including the United Nations and many other European governments and political leaders. He founded and continues to sponsor The Sacred Run, and returns to the Bay Area every year for the annual Un-Thanksgiving Day memorial and protest held at sunrise on Alcatraz Island in honor of the Indian Occupation of the island in 1969. This picture of Dennis was taken during a recent interview for the documentary film "Alcatraz is not an Island." Dennis also recently returned to the Bay Area for a three day rally to support the Round Valley Indians for Justice and the Eugene Bear Lincoln/Acorn Peters Defense Alliance.
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