Living with Animals

University of Toronto PressSKU: 9781442614796

Michael Pomedli
Grade Levels:
College, University
Book Type:
University of Toronto Press
Copyright Data:

Sale price$49.95


Living with Animals: Ojibwe Spirit Powers is a 2014 publication by philosophy professor Michael Pomedli, University of Saskatchewan. He examines the roles of animals such as bears, owls, otters, thunderbirds, and water creatures in the spirituality, healing, and protection of Ojibwe in the 19th century. This study over 100 images from oral and written sources – including birch bark scrolls, rock art, stories, games, and dreams – in which these animals appear as kindred beings, spirit powers, healers, and protectors. He demonstrates how the principles at play in these sources are not merely evidence of cultural values, but also unique standards brought to treaty signings by Ojibwe leaders. In addition, these principles are norms against which North American treaty interpretations should be reframed. The author provides an important foundation for ongoing treaty negotiations, and for what contemporary Ojibwe cultural figures corroborate as ways of leading a good, integrated life. The writings of four significant Ojibwe men including Peter Jones, Andrew Blackbird, George Copway, and Warren Whipple are examined. The book covers Ojibwe peoples of the Great Lakes region (Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario) and parts of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The opening chapter discusses the Midewiwin, the Grand Medicine Society. Topics such as the sweat lodge, leadership, lacrosse, and copper are briefly discussed in the appendix. This book examines the importance of symbolic representation as expressed in Ojibwe spiritual traditions that continue to the present.

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