Long before the land at the western tip of Lake Superior came to be known as Duluth, it 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, cultivating and gathering, and harvesting wild rice and maple sugar. Linda LeGarde Grover accompanies us through this cycle of the seasons in Onigamiising, 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, of work and play, and of ceremony and tradition and family ways, from the homey moments shared over meals to the celebrations that mark life’s great events.
Linda LeGarde Grover, a member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe, lives in Duluth and is a professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She is author of The Road Back to Sweetgrass, which received the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers Fiction Award. Her short fiction collection The Dance Boots received the Flannery O’Connor Award, and her poetry collection The Sky Watched: Poems of Ojibwe Lives received the Northeaster Minnesota Book Award.