Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year
Long before it came to be known as Duluth, the land at the western tip of Lake Superior was known to the Ojibwe as Onigamiising, “the place of the small portage.” There the Ojibwe lived in keeping with the seasons, moving among different camps for hunting and fishing, for cultivating and gathering, for harvesting wild rice and maple sugar. In Onigamiising Linda LeGarde Grover accompanies us through this cycle of the seasons, one year in a lifelong journey on the path to Mino Bimaadiziwin, the living of a good life.
In fifty short essays, Grover reflects on the spiritual beliefs and everyday practices that carry the Ojibwe through the year and connect them to this northern land of rugged splendor. As the four seasons unfold—from Ziigwan (Spring) through Niibin and Dagwaagin to the silent, snowy promise of Biboon—the award-winning author writes eloquently of the landscape and the weather, work and play, ceremony and tradition and family ways, from the homey moments shared over meals to the celebrations that mark life’s great events. Now a grandmother, a Nokomis, beginning the fourth season of her life, Grover draws on a wealth of stories and knowledge accumulated over the years to evoke the Ojibwe experience of Onigamiising, past and present, for all time.
Praise for Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year
"Reading Linda LeGarde Grover’s inspiring essays feels like having tea with a generous Ojibwe elder, as she threads traditional teachings through family vignettes and tribal stories. In clear-eyed, compassionate prose, Grover’s reflections demonstrate how Ojibwe culture and values continue to thrive despite the challenges of modern-day life. Onishishin!"—Diane Wilson, executive codirector, Dream of Wild Health
"Reading these essays is like quietly listening to a thoughtful elder telling tales, spinning stories, and subtly offering wise guidance to her descendants, as well as to anyone else fortunate enough to hear."—Foreword Reviews
"A finely nuanced reflection on the spiritual and the mundane, the everyday and the extraordinary, the seasons of the year and the seasons of a life."—Indian Country Today
"Fascinating stuff. Perhaps the best reason to spend 200 pages with Grover, though, is her sense of humor."—Star Tribune
"This book covers a lot of everyday ordinariness and a smattering of Indian history and culture. Its stories are told with a fable-like quality that readers may find appealing."—The Circle
"Grover’s bittersweet stories of family and the passage of time are sure to tug on a few heart strings and encourage careful contemplation."—Riveter Magazine