Friday, February 25, 2011

Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past-Diane Wilson 216 pgs

"This moving narrative recounts Wilson's attempt to trace her Dakota heritage, sparked by her usually reticent mother's story of having been left for two years at a mission boarding school on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Though her own family stories have been forgotten or repressed, Wilson relies on carefully researched historical accounts and her own imagination to depict how her Native American ancestors survived the Dakota War of 1862."
Diane Wilson has a unique perspective in this book which would be an excellent jump off for a secondary English class as they study (6+1 Traits in writing) Voice.

Honor the Grandmothers: Dakota and Lakota Women Tell Their Stories -by Sarah Penman (Compiler) 147 pgs

"In Honor the Grandmothers: Dakota and Lakota Women Tell Their Stories, editor Sarah Penman, a journalist who reports on the experiences of Native Americans, preserves four oral histories that contribute to our understanding of Indian life past and present. According to tradition, it is the responsibility of Dakota and Lakota grandmothers to teach tribal history. During the course of their long lives, the four women witnessed tremendous change in the circumstances of their peoples."

*MN specific parts: Iola Columbus of the Dakota tribe was the first woman in Minnesota to be elected to a tribal chair. She founded a Grandmothers' Society to encourage older women to pass on traditions and ceremonies not only to Native Americans, but also to interpret them for other Americans*

Lang Arts: compare/contrast the text regarding Crazy Horse (pg31-33) w/ another text on the same topic

Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940 - Brenda Child 143 pgs

"Boarding School Seasons offers a revealing look at the strong emotional history of Indian boarding school experiences in the first half of the twentieth century. At the heart of this book are the hundreds of letters written by parents, children, and school officials at Haskell Institute in Kansas and the Flandreau School in South Dakota. These revealing letters show how profoundly entire families were affected by their experiences."

*many chapters about MN Native Americans, but also includes narratives of other tribes and various Indian Boarding schools through the U.S.

Native American Literature: A Brief Introduction and Anthology-by Gerald Vizenor 368 pgs

This anthology makes available a range of Native American writings from the early nineteenth century to the present. Genres covered include fiction, poetry, auotobiography, and drama.

*Certain chapters showcase MN native writers which include: biographies, fiction, and poetry*

Portage Lake: Memories of an Ojibwe Childhood -Maude Kegg 272 pgs

"Maude Kegg's memories build a bridge to a time when building birch-bark wigwams and harvesting turtles were still part of the everyday life of a native girl in the mid-west. In this bilingual book, this elder of the Minnesota Anishinaabe reminisces about her childhood. An English translation of each story appears on pages facing the original Ojibwe text, and has a beautiful full Ojibwe-English glossary with study aids"

MN Lang Arts standard  compare/contrast treatment of good and evil in the traditional tale on page 29

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pipestone: My Life in an Indian Boarding School - Adam Fortunate Eagle 190 pgs

"Best known as a leader of the Indian takeover of Alcatraz Island in 1969, Adam Fortunate Eagle now offers an unforgettable memoir of his years as a young student at Pipestone Indian Boarding School in Minnesota.
Fortunate Eagle attended Pipestone between 1935 and 1945, just as Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier's pluralist vision was reshaping the federal boarding school system to promote greater respect for Native cultures and traditions. Telling this story in the voice of his younger self, the author takes us on a journey into his childhood and the inner world of the boarding school. Along the way, he shares anecdotes of dormitory culture, student pranks, and warrior games, along with escaping some family dysfunction."  In this rare firsthand account, Fortunate Eagle lives up to his reputation as a "contrary warrior" by giving another view of Indian boarding schools.
**This book would be excellent to pair with another text of boarding school narratives to provide multiple and differing experiences**.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mishomis Book - Edward Benton-Banai 114 pgs

"The Mishomis Book documents the history, traditions, and culture of the Ojibway people through stories and myths passed down through generations. Written by Ojibway educator and spiritual leader Edward Benton-Banai, The Mishomis Book draws from the traditional teachings of tribal elders to instruct young readers about Ojibway creation stories and legends, the origin and importance of the Ojibway family structure and clan system, the Midewiwin religion, the construction and use of the water drum and sweat lodge, and modern Ojibway history.
Written for readers from all cultures-but especially for Ojibway and Native youth-The Mishomis Book provides an introduction to Ojibway culture and an understanding of the sacred Midewiwin teachings, aiming to protect this knowledge to the next generation."

Possible use: Standard (compare and contrast flood stories from different cultures-use ch 5.)

The Birchbark House- by Louise Erdrich 244 pgs

"Omakayas, or Little Frog, lives on an island in Lake Superior. It is 1850 and the lives of the Ojibwe have returned to a familiar rhythm: they build their birchbark houses in the summer, go to the ricing camps in the fall to harvest and feast, and move to their cozy cedar log cabins near the town of LaPointe before the first snows.

Routines of Omakayas's days are interrupted by a surprise visit from a group of desperate and mysterious people. From them, she learns that all their lives may drastically change. The chimookomanag, or white people, want Omakayas and her people to leave their island in Lake Superior and move farther west. Omakayas realizes that something so valuable, so important that she never knew she had it in the first place, is in danger: Her home. Her way of life." 

*Don't forget to check out this book's sequels: The Game of Silence and The Porcupine Year!

The Good Path: Ojibwe Learning and Activity Book for Kids-Thomas Peacock and Marlene Wisure 127 pgs

Kids of all cultures journey through time with the Ojibwe people as their guide to the 9 values of the Good Path: honor the creator, elders, women, and plant/animals, being peaceful, kind, moderate, and courageous. Through traditional native tales, hear about Grandmother Moon, the mysterious Megis shell, and the souls of plants and animals. Through Ojibwe history, learn how trading posts, treaties, and warfare affected Native Americans.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

John Beargrease: Legend of Minnesota's North Shore- Daniel Lancaster 173 pgs

"John Beargrease (1862–1910), the son of an Anishinabe chief, hauled the mail by dogsled between pioneer communities along Minnesota’s tempestuous Lake Superior shore line. The annual John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is named in his honor.
. . . it was sometimes best to just keep going . . . pushing through three feet of snow, plowing over drifts six and seven feet deep, making their way among the boughs of the trees.
Daniel Lancaster follows the legendary Beargrease through the settlement and development of the North Shore."

**although this book has a lot of information, the author uses the term "half-breed" when referring to Beargrease at times.  This would be good for class discussion- is this term OK to use in historical perspective, or is it derogatory when used today?

Ojibwe in Minnesota- Anton Treuer 103 pgs

"Ojibwe scholar Anton Treuer traces thousands of years of the complicated history of the Ojibwe people—their economy, culture, and clan system and how these have changed throughout time, perhaps most dramatically with the arrival of Europeans into Minnesota territory.
Ojibwe in Minnesota covers the fur trade, the Iroquois Wars, and Ojibwe-Dakota relations; the treaty process and creation of reservations; and the systematic push for assimilation as seen in missionary activity, government policy, and boarding schools."
**I highly recommend any book by this author!**

*possible uses: Standard (compare/contrast a topic from this text to another.  For example, select a current newspaper article about MN Native American casinos, then use pages 54-59 in this text to compare/contrast ideas, vocabulary, ect.