Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg
By Doug Williams
Edited by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
In this deeply engaging oral history, Doug Williams, Anishinaabe elder, teacher and mentor to Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, recounts the history of the Michi Saagiig Nisnaabeg, tracing through personal and historical events, and presenting what manifests as a crucial historical ... Read more
In this deeply engaging oral history, Doug Williams, Anishinaabe elder, teacher and mentor to Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, recounts the history of the Michi Saagiig Nisnaabeg, tracing through personal and historical events, and presenting what manifests as a crucial historical document that confronts entrenched institutional narratives of the history of the region. Edited collaboratively with Simpson, the book uniquely retells pivotal historical events that have been conventionally unchallenged in dominant historical narratives, while presenting a fascinating personal perspective in the singular voice of Williams, whose rare body of knowledge spans back to the 1700s. With this wealth of knowledge, wit and storytelling prowess, Williams recounts key moments of his personal history, connecting them to the larger history of the Anishinaabeg and other Indigenous communities.
Doug Williams, is Anishnaabe and former Chief of Mississauga's Curve Lake First Nation. He is now currently Co Director and Graduate Faculty for the Indigenous Studies Ph.D. Program and oversees the cultural and spiritual component of the program. He is a member of the Pike Clan, and was one of the first graduates of what is now called Indigenous Studies at Trent University in 1972. He is a Pipe Carrier, Sweat Lodge Keeper, and ceremony leader. He is a language speaker and considers himself a trapper, a hunter and a fisher. Beyond his work in the academy, he is active at the community level and works to ensure that Indigenous Knowledge is maintained within the community.
This book gives us an alternative perspective on historical record that is both personal and collective. Doug Williams reminds us of the generations of Indigenous knowledge keepers and of a history that stretches back prior to European contact-including the disruption of contact. This book is his gift to the Michi Saagiig and to all Anishinaabek. It is also a gift to Canadians who want to help decolonize this country. - Armand Garnet RuffoStorytelling is not just a gift. It's not just an art. It's also a responsibility: the weaving together of history, philosophy, culture and humour frequently highlighting a cultures perspective on the world. Doug Williams has been doing this as long as I can remember. He lives the culture, not just talks about it. The people and places he talks about in Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg are more a part of our history then all the things going on in Ottawa - Drew Hayden Taylor
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