Friday, 5 July 2013

A Call To Action - Centering Anishinaabeg Studies Understanding the World through Stories

I had a long conversation with Dr Niigaan James Sinclair who has helped edit the book Centering Anishinaabeg Studies Understanding the World through Stories. There were three editors in Jill Doerfler, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair and Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark. The book follows the 3 Rs type of teaching. In this case the book is divided in chapters entitled Roots, Relationships, Revelation, Resistance,  and Reflection. These are action verb words that attempt to create ripples through out the world reflecting the Anishinaabeg world view. While this is not the definite way of viewing Anishnaabeg peoples it offers a major compilation for Anishinaabe studies.

This book is not only primarily for students of Anishinaabeg studies, but is a gift of stories to non-Anishinaabe peoples as well. The stories should be seen as calls to action concerning world-views and our relationships. The relationship not only concern people, but all of creation from the bear, moose and all animals.These stories are according the Niigaan, a gift to people to change the world about them.  He finds the use of story represents a action based world view which asks us to better ourselves and our views concerning creation.

For Niigaan this is a very political book about our conceptions in science, math, and literature. I hope you enjoy. tapwe.

To Learn More (Podcast) 

The following is taken from the Michigan State University Press. 
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.


Ouellette, Robert-Falcon. (Director) (2013 June 28). At the Edge of Canada: Indigenous Research. A Call To Action - Centering Anishinaabeg Studies Understanding the World through Stories [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from 
Ouellette, Robert-Falcon, dir. "A Call To Action - Centering Anishinaabeg Studies Understanding the World through Stories." At the Edge of Canada: Indigenous Research.. N.p., 28 June 2013. web. 28 June 2013. <


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