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'Ojibwe in Minnesota' author to discuss work

Author Anton Treuer will visit Park Rapids Area Library at 10 a.m. Monday, May 17.

Treuer is the author of "Ojibwe in Minnesota," published by Minnesota Historical Society Press in March.  This compelling, highly anticipated narrative traces the history of the Ojibwe people in Minnesota, explores the cultural practices, challenges presented by more recent settlers and holds modern day discussions of sovereignty and identity.

 With insight and candor, noted Ojibwe scholar 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.

Treuer does not shy away from today's controversial topics, covering them frankly and with sensitivity - issues of sovereignty as they influence the running of casinos and land management; the need for reform in modern tribal government; poverty, unemployment and drug abuse; and constitutional and educational reform.

He also tackles the complicated issue of identity and details recent efforts and successes in cultural preservation and language revitalization.

 A personal account from the state's first female Indian lawyer, Margaret Treuer, tells her firsthand experience of much change in the community and looks ahead with renewed cultural strength and hope for the first people of Minnesota.

 Treuer is professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University and editor of "Living Our Language: Ojibwe Tales and Oral Histories," "Aaniin Ekidong: Ojibwe Vocabulary Project," "Omaa Akiing" and the "Oshkaabewis Native Journal," the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language.

Treuer's author visits are part of the Kitchigami Reads/Kitchigami Writes project, made possible with funding from the State of Minnesota Legacy Fund to preserve arts and cultural heritage.