Monday, 19 March 2012

water, language, time

Three stories from Michigan's North Shore Community Radio, & one live from BC:

Moments in Time: Anishinaabe & Isle Royale

Tobin Trail
Tobin Trail

~to listen~   In its early days, before Isle Royale became a national park in 1940, the island was home to loggers, miners and fishermen. Most were Scandinavian immigrants. However, there are people whose ties to the island go much farther back, and their story is often overlooked. In this edition of Moments in Time, we look at the story of the Anishinaabe and their connection to the island. They have a different set of uses for the land, and a different name for it.

Music by Keith Secola and the XX.
Photo courtesy of MDuchek on Wikimedia.


Project: Water, Language and Culture Intertwined

Anishinaabe couple harvesting wild rice on the Bad River / photo Marquette University Archives, graphic Lauryl Loberg
Anishinaabe couple harvesting wild rice on the Bad River / photo Marquette University Archives, graphic Lauryl Loberg

~to listen~     The history of the Anishinaabeg and Lake Superior is very long. Early French and English documents named the native people Ojibwe or Chippewa. But they call themselves Anishinaabe. They call Lake Superior, Gichigami. Wild Rice is manoomin, and waawaashkeshi is the deer. Names such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Manitou, Chequamegon, Keewenaw are from the Anishinaabe.

The Anishinaabe still speak their language. Wes Ballinger is one of several people making sure it will be heard for hundreds of years to come. Ballinger is working in the language, using it, teaching it, learning it, and preserving it. It’s his job, as head of the language department for the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Commission, at Bad River, WI.


Native American activist Sharon Day on the importance of fresh water

Lake Superior
Lake Superior

~to listen~    Bob spoke March 2 with Sharon Day, an enrolled member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, in Minnesota in the Marten Clan, who holds a 2nd degree designation as a M’dewiwin water keeper for her tribe. She discussed the role of women in protecting the precious resource of fresh water, and her role last year in the Mother Earth Water Walk.



The On Edge readings series presents:

World Water Night: Readings & Screening

7 pm, March 22, SB 301 (Lecture Theatre)

Emily Carr University, Vancouver BC

Readings by Lee Maracle & Michael Blackstock

Screening of Samaqan: Water Stories, with Director Jeff Bear

Free and open to the public


Lee Maracle, granddaughter of Chief Dan George, is one of the most prolific aboriginal authors in Canada. Her books include Daughters Are Forever (fiction, Raincoast, 2002), Will's Garden (Theytus, 2002), Bent Box (poetry, Theytus Books, 2000), Sojourners & Sundogs (fiction, Press Gang, 1999), Ravensong (Press Gang, 1993), I Am Woman (nonfiction, Press Gang, 1988) and Bobbi Lee, Indian Rebel (fiction, Women's Press, 1975). She has received the J.T. Stewart Voices of Change Award, and she contributed to First Fish, First People, which won the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award. Maracle has taught at the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, Western Washington University, South Oregon University, and many more places.

Michael Blackstock is an independent scholar, poet, artist, and forester who has served as a member of the UNESCO-IHP Expert Advisory Group on Water and Cultural Diversity. He has published two books of poetry: Salmon Run: A Florilegium of Aboriginal Ecological Poetry and Oceaness. Of Gitxsan (Hazelton) and Euro-Canadian descent, Blackstock has a MA in First Nations Studies. His first book, Faces in the Forest (McGill-Queen's UP), examines tree art in conjunction with First Nations cosmology, citing carvings, paintings and writings on trees within Gitxsan, Nisga'a, Tlingit, Carrier and Dene traditional territories.

Jeff Bear (Maliseet) produces, writes and directs independent documentaries  with director Marianne Jones (Haida) at Urban Rez Productions  in Vancouver. Since 2000 Urban Rez has produced the 26-part series  Ravens and Eagles, for broadcast on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, as well as Storytellers in Motion, a 39 part documentary series about indigenous storytellers, and currently, Samaqan: Water Stories. The first documentary that Bear and Jones shot together, Burnt Church: Obstruction of Justice won the 2001 Telefilm/APTN award for Best English Language Production.

Bear has worked in video and television steadily for the last  24 years. He received the  2000 Leo Award for Best Information Series as the producer of  First Story, an aboriginal current affairs program broadcast in Canada on CTV. A past editor-in-chief of Kahtou magazine, he has written widely about indigenous political and cultural representation in Canada. Bear speaks the Maliseet language fluently and was raised in Tobique First Nation, New Brunswick.

To RSVP visit

The On Edge series gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council and Emily Carr University.


Thanks to Al Hunter (interviewed in "Moments in Time") and Rita Wong for the above links/information.

No comments: