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.
About the Author
Jill Doerfler (White Earth Anishinaabe) is Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota–Duluth. Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair (St. Peter's/Little Peguis Anishinaabe) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark (Turtle Mountain Anishinaabe) is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Victoria.
Centering Anishinaabeg Studies is a path-breaking book that features fascinating contributions from many of the finest scholars working in the field today. Ranging widely across methodological perspectives and the breadth of the Anishinaabe world, this book is indespensible for the field and a model for future work in Indigenous Studies. --Jean M. O'Brien, University of Minnesota