REGIONAL— A little more than a hundred years ago, one mile east of Grand Marais, you would have found a bustling village, known as Chippewa City, which was home to as many as 200 Anishinaabe …
REGIONAL— A little more than a hundred years ago, one mile east of Grand Marais, you would have found a bustling village, known as Chippewa City, which was home to as many as 200 Anishinaabe families.
Today, the only reminder of that former community is St. Francis Xavier Church. In a new book, Walking the Old Road, published by the University of Minnesota Press, author Staci Lola Drouillard takes readers through the history of that lost community, reclaiming for history the Ojibwe voices that disappeared over the years. Drouillard, a descendant of the Grand Portage Band, whose family once lived in Chippewa City, draws on memories, family history, historical analysis, and testimony passed down through generations to describe the many changes to the Ojibwe experience brought on by early European contact, government land allotment, family relocation, and eventual assimilation. Infused with a powerful sense of place, this engaging history connects the Ojibwe of today with the traditions of their ancestors who called Chippewa City home.
Drouillard lives in the Grand Marais area, where she serves as development director for WTIP Community Radio based in that North Shore city. For many years, she produced two original radio series, Walking the Old Road: The History of Chippewa City and the Grand Marais Chippewa and Anishinabe Way, an exploration of contemporary Ojibwe life through interviews and storytelling.
The 272-page book includes 98 black and white photos and three maps. It’s available in paperback from the University of Minnesota Press for $21.95.
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