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Onigamiising

Seasons of an Ojibwe Year

2017
Author:

Linda LeGarde Grover

Onigamiising

Fifty short essays evoke the four seasons of the year, and of life, for the Ojibwe
in northeastern Minnesota

Long before it was known as Duluth, the land of the great lake in northeastern Minnesota was known to the Ojibwe as Onigamiising, “the place of the small portage.” In fifty short essays, Linda LeGarde Grover reflects on the spiritual beliefs and everyday practices that carry the Ojibwe through the year and connect them to this northern land of rugged splendor.

Reading Linda LeGarde Grover’s inspiring essays feels like having tea with a generous Ojibwe elder, as she threads traditional teachings through family vignettes and tribal stories. In clear-eyed, compassionate prose, Grover’s reflections demonstrate how Ojibwe culture and values continue to thrive despite the challenges of modern-day life. Onishishin!

Diane Wilson, executive codirector, Dream of Wild Health

Long before it came to be known as Duluth, the land at the western tip of Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota was known to the Ojibwe as Onigamiising, “the place of the small portage.” There the Ojibwe lived in keeping with the seasons, moving among different camps for hunting and fishing, for cultivating and gathering, for harvesting wild rice and maple sugar. In Onigamiising Linda LeGarde Grover accompanies us through this cycle of the seasons, one year in a lifelong journey on the path to Mino Bimaadiziwin, the living of a good life.

In fifty short essays, Grover reflects on the spiritual beliefs and everyday practices that carry the Ojibwe through the year and connect them to this northern land of rugged splendor. As the four seasons unfold—from Ziigwan (Spring) through Niibin and Dagwaagin to the silent, snowy promise of Biboon—the award-winning author writes eloquently of the landscape and the weather, work and play, ceremony and tradition and family ways, from the homey moments shared over meals to the celebrations that mark life’s great events. Now a grandmother, a Nokomis, beginning the fourth season of her life, Grover draws on a wealth of stories and knowledge accumulated over the years to evoke the Ojibwe experience of Onigamiising, past and present, for all time.

Onigamiising

Linda LeGarde Grover’s short fiction collection The Dance Boots received the Flannery O’Connor Award as well as the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize; her novel The Road Back to Sweetgrass (Minnesota, 2014) received the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers 2016 Fiction Award, and her poetry collection The Sky Watched: Poems of Ojibwe Lives received the Red Mountain Press Editor’s Award. She is professor of American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth and a member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe.

Onigamiising

Reading Linda LeGarde Grover’s inspiring essays feels like having tea with a generous Ojibwe elder, as she threads traditional teachings through family vignettes and tribal stories. In clear-eyed, compassionate prose, Grover’s reflections demonstrate how Ojibwe culture and values continue to thrive despite the challenges of modern-day life. Onishishin!

Diane Wilson, executive codirector, Dream of Wild Health

Onigamiising

Contents
Here in Onigamiising {~?~TN: book page ix}
Ziigwan — Spring {~?~TN: book page 1}
Spring Is Finally upon Us {~?~TN: book page 3}
When the Sky Sings
Minikwe niibish, the Leaf We Drink
Onishishin: It’s All Pretty, It’s All Good
Curtains, Calico, and Creative Living
A Wedding Shower and a Four-Year-Old Girl
Sewing Ojibwe Ribbon Skirts in Onigamiising
The Ojibwe Word for Moccasin Is . . .
Reservations, Homelands, and Extended Family Ties
To Catch a Baby’s Dream
“What’s a Hanky For?”
Our Heart and Future
Summer Is Coming to Onigamiising
Niibin — Summer
Chickens, Eggs, and Stories
The Summer of Our Favorite Toy
Weeds and Wildflowers
Terry and Rachel Enter the Landscape of Nanaboozhoo
The Stone Tomahawk
An Impromptu Reunion
Shii-waaboo
Life Lessons from My Dad and Jim Thorpe
Buckskin Ladies, Ribbon Dress Girls
Aniin miinik ish tiktik? Berry Time!
The Girl Cousins Throw a Party
Tea with Scones and Stories
The Gift That Grows Out of the Water
When We Cook Manoomin
Ready for Dinner
Dagwaagin — Fall
Old Traditions for a New School Year
The Mystery of Indian Corn
To Speak Ojibwemowin
Going Out to Eat
How Much of an Indian Are You?
We Honor Native Veterans
When Grandmother Went to School
Falling to Thanksgiving
Cradleboards and Portable Babies
Memory, Creative Living, and Fun Crocheting from Rags
Migwechiwendam: To Think Thankfully
Biboon — Winter
Nanaboozhoo and Nokomis
Coal, Clinkers, and Staying Warm
Trying to Make Lugalette like My Grandmother
Snow Shoveling, Chocolate, and a Pretty Kitchen
Storytelling Seasons
A Soldier on Leave
Cold Feet and New Beginnings
A Rabbit Skin Baby Blanket
The Gift and Privilege of Parenting
A Cousin Gets in Touch with a Cousin
Henry Meets Santa Claus
Toot-Cair
Memories Rose like Fabric-scented Steam
Cheeseburgers for Breakfast
The Exiles
The Elders of Winter and the Youth of Spring

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Available in October 2017