Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Red Lake Nation

Red Lake Nation: Portraits of Ojibway Life

Charles Brill
Copyright Date: 1992
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 176
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.cttttp5t
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Red Lake Nation
    Book Description:

    Movingly documents, in words and pictures, the life of the Red Lake band on a ‘closed reservation’ in northern Minnesota.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8362-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-6)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 7-8)
  3. PREFACE TO THE 1992 EDITION
    (pp. 9-10)
  4. PREFACE TO THE 1974 EDITION
    (pp. 11-14)
  5. [Illustrstions]
    (pp. 15-16)
  6. “FREEDOM IS OUR HERITAGE”
    (pp. 19-32)

    It is Red Lake’s legal status as a “closed reservation” that makes this Chippewa reservation unique in Minnesota. The land of the Red Lake Band was never ceded to the United States government and then set aside as an Indian reservation under federal jurisdiction: the almost universal procedure elsewhere; the members of the band claim possession of the land by right of conquest and aboriginal title. During a century of negotiations over treaties and other agreements between the Chippewa of Minnesota and the United States government, Red Lake leaders from the hereditary chief May-dway-gwa-no-nind (He That Is Spoken To) to...

  7. FACES OF THE PEOPLE
    (pp. 35-54)

    On March 22, 1972, Anna Garrigan, sitting at the kitchen table of her house trailer, tapped her pencil, looked at the ceiling, and announced: “There are 6000 members on the Red Lake Band roll.” Mrs. Garrigan was still in the process of adding and subtracting but was close enough to call this “a pretty accurate figure.” She had spent most of the winter scanning the pages of the tribal roll to bring enrollment figures up to date.

    Today two-thirds of the enrolled members — 625 families — live on the reservation; many of the 2000 individuals who live off the reservation have...

  8. THE WATER AND THE WOODS
    (pp. 57-78)

    The Martins, Kingbirds, Johnsons, Siganas, Frenchs, Clouds, and other fishermen of Ponemah and Redlake are a sturdy, weather-wise breed of men. Their fingers and palms are split and calloused, their forearms developed and hardened from pulling a half mile or more of net line twenty inches at a time. Their eyes are uncannily sharp: they have developed the ability to spot a small torn wisp of flag flying from a net marker pole in the early gray of dawn, where others see only whitecaps. They can move with a catlike balance and agility in a tossing metal boat filled with...

  9. THE BEAT OF THE DRUM
    (pp. 81-96)

    Among the community activities of the Red Lakers no other, perhaps, symbolizes traditional “Indianness” as much as the powwow. A powwow is a ceremony which combines the talent and skill of the singer-drummer and of the dancer. The occasion may be the annual Fourth of July celebration, a four-day event that has been held near the village of Redlake each year for almost a half century (Ponemah also has its Fourth of July fete). It is the social high light of the summer, a time when hundreds of relatives and visitors return to the reservation. The sound of the drum...

  10. THE ROAD TO PONEMAH
    (pp. 99-122)

    Five miles east of Redby the main road of the reservation makes a ninety-degree turn north and is called the road to Ponemah. Travel the road north, through Mahquam Bay where the great bald eagles still hover over the tall pines, cross the deep black waters of the Blackduck and Battle rivers where the great chiefs and warriors held councils, and continue to where the road touches the lake at the Narrows. This is the road to Ponemah — and also the road to the past. Until 1901 the village was called Cross Lake. When an application for a post office...

  11. KE-GO-WAY-SE-KAH
    (pp. 125-144)

    Ke-go-way-se-kah — you are going homeward. Traditionally this has meant the route of souls after death to the “beautiful country interspersed with clear lakes and streams, forests and prairies, and fruit and game,” where the Indian can find, in Warren’s glowing words, “all which conduces most to his happiness.”

    For those at Red Lake a beautiful country with clear lakes and streams and green forests, with fruit and fish and game, where they may dance and sing at will, is already a reality. And for some this is enough in the here and now. But life in the mundane world of...

  12. LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE — AND BACK TO THE PAST
    (pp. 147-176)

    On May 1, 1989, a Community Leaders’ Forum retreat for Tribal Council representatives was held near Brainerd, Minnesota. At the end of the retreat council members were asked to discuss their dreams for Red Lake ten years in the future. These “visions” are included in a recent request for a McKnight Foundation Planning Grant: a bank, more small businesses, joint venture or capitalization of a manufacturing plant with Oriental money, expanded gaming operations on ceded lands (a reality at Warroad, in 1991), and a full-scale shopping mall. Business on the reservation would be nonpolluting. Resources would be utilized without harm...