Centering Anishinaabeg Studies

Understanding the World Through Stories


Centering Anishinaabeg Studies

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.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Contents 6
Maajitaadaa: Nanaboozhoo and the Flood, Part 2 10
Bagijige: Making an Offering 16
Eko-bezhig Bagijigan: Stories as Roots 30
Is That All There Is? Tribal Literature 32
Name’: Literary Ancestry as Presence 42
Beshaabiiag G’gikenmaaigowag: Comets of Knowledge 64
Eko-niizh Bagijigan: Stories as Relationships 88
The Story Is a Living Being: Companionship with Stories in Anishinaabeg Studies 90
K’zaugin: Storying Ourselves into Life 110
Teaching as Story 132
Eko-niswi Bagijigan: Stories as Revelations 146
Every Dream Is a Prophecy: Rethinking Revitalization—Dreams, Prophets, and Routinized Cultural Evolution 148
Constitutional Narratives: A Conversation with Gerald Vizenor 162
And the Easter Bunny Dies: Old Traditions from New Stories 178
Eko-niiwin Bagijigan: Stories as Resiliency 200
A Philosophy for Living: Ignatia Broker and Constitutional Reform among the White Earth Anishinaabeg 202
A Perfect Copy: Indian Culture and Tribal Law 220
The Hydromythology of the Anishinaabeg: Will Mishipizhu Survive Climate Change, or Is He Creating It? 242
Eko-naanan Bagijigan: Stories as Resistance 264
Wild Rice Rights: Gerald Vizenor and an Affiliation of Story 266
Transforming the Trickster: Federal Indian Law Encounters Anishinaabe Diplomacy 288
Theorizing Resurgence from within Nishnaabeg Thought 308
Eko-ingodwaasi Bagijigan: Stories as Reclamation 324
Aadizookewininiwag and the Visual Arts: Story as Process and Principle in Twenty-First Century Anishinaabeg Painting 326
Stories as Mshkiki: Reflections on the Healing and Migratory Practices of Minwaajimo 346
Horizon Lines, Medicine Painting, and Moose Calling: The Visual/Performative Storytelling of Three Anishinaabeg Artists 370
Eko-niizhwaasi Bagijigan: Stories as Reflections 390
Anishinaabeg Studies: Creative, Critical, Ethical, and Reflexive 392
Telling All of Our Stories: Reorienting the Legal and Political Events of the Anishinaabeg 408
On the Road Home: Stories and Reflections from Neyaashiinigiming 426
About the Authors 438