The Timberjay: Walking the Old Road

The story of a once vibrant, now vanished off-reservation Ojibwe village—and a vital chapter of the history of the North ShoreA little more than a hundred years ago, one mile east of Grand Marais, you would have found a bustling village, known as Chippewa City, which was home to as many as 200 Anishinaabe families.

Today, the only reminder of that former community is St. Francis Xavier Church. In a new book, Walking the Old Road, published by the University of Minnesota Press, author Staci Lola Drouillard takes readers through the history of that lost community, reclaiming for history the Ojibwe voices that disappeared over the years. Drouillard, a descendant of the Grand Portage Band, whose family once lived in Chippewa City, draws on memories, family history, historical analysis, and testimony passed down through generations to describe the many changes to the Ojibwe experience brought on by early European contact, government land allotment, family relocation, and eventual assimilation. Infused with a powerful sense of place, this engaging history connects the Ojibwe of today with the traditions of their ancestors who called Chippewa City home.


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