Anishinaabe Syndicated: A View from the Rez

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Minnesota Historical Society, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 226 pages

The topics of the day fly fast and furious over Jim Northrup's moccasin telegraph:

The game wardens were playing catch and release with the Anishinaabeg spearers. one Shinnob went back for seconds. He got two tickets. . . .

The powwow was great. I'd like to thank all those who worked to make this happen. as a Vietnam vet, I felt honored, but still think we should quit
making veterans. . . .

Hell just froze over because Fonjalackers got a per capita gambling payment. after almost fifteen years of high-stakes bingo and gambling casinos, we got a check for $1,500 each. . . . Now Mom can get that operation and I can send my kids to Harvard. I can also get that Ferrari I've always wanted. I'll decide on the color after my round-the-world vacation. . ..

Between 1989 and 2001, Indian Country saw enormous changes in treaty rights, casino gambling, language renewal, and tribal sovereignty. Jim Northrup, a thoroughly modern traditional Ojibwe man who writes a monthly syndicated newspaper column, the Fond du Lac Follies, witnessed it all. With humor sometimes gentle, sometimes biting, sometimes broad, these excerpts tally the changes, year by year, as he spears walleye, raises a grandson, harvests wild rice and maple sugar, fixes rez cars, attends powwows, and jets across the country and across the ocean to tell stories.

Jim Northrup is an award-winning journalist, poet, and playwright and the author of Rez Road Follies and Walking the Rez Road. Margaret Noori is the director of the Comprehensive Studies program and a lecturer in the Native American Studies program at the University of Michigan.


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About the author (2011)

Jim Northrup was born on the Fond du Lac Reservation in Sawyer, Minnesota on April 28, 1943. At the age of 6, he was ripped from his family and sent to a federal boarding school where speaking in Ojibwe was forbidden and the goal was for the children to become white. At the age of 18, he joined the Marine Corps which included a stint in the Caribbean during the Cuban missile crisis and an eight-month tour in Vietnam during the war. Before moving back to the reservation, he worked as a policeman and sheriff. He was an Ojibwe storyteller. His first published work was an in anthology of Ojibwe writings entitled Touchwood. His other books included Walking the Rez Road, Rez Road Follies, Anishinaabe Syndicated: A View from the Rez, Dirty Copper, and The Rez Salute: The Real Healer Dealer. He also wrote plays, poems, and films. In 2000, he appeared in a one-man show entitled Rez Road 2000 at the Great American History Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota. He died from complications of kidney cancer on August 1, 2016 at the age of 73.

Margaret Noori is the director of the Comprehensive Studies Program and a lecturer in the Native American Studies Program at the University of Michigan.

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