New Book

September 29, 2009

I’ve writtten a second book on Ojibway culture, Ways of Our Grandfathers. 

Ways of Our Grandfathers compliments David D Plain’s previous book, The Plains of Aamjiwnaang.  While his first book focused on the history of the Ahnishenahbek (Chippewa) of Aamjiwnaang territory Ways of Our Grandfathers describes Ahnishenahbek culture and traditions from the pre and early contact period with Europeans.  It covers such anthropological topics as social life, economic life, and religious life.  Clear descriptions of characteristics, language, political structure, band designations and their totemic system are illustrated.  Gatherings, games and stories are depicted with vivid illustrations.  Construction of their dwellings and canoes are described as well as methods of hunting, fishing and sugar making.  Trade routes and places of trade are given as well as types of trade goods.  Religious life is detailed and includes a description of the political structure of the Midéwiwin Medicine Society, healing practices and death customs.  The book includes an appendix listing many traditional medicines.  Another appendix provides a detailed description of a Midéwiwin initiation ceremony performed on the banks of the St. Clair River recorded verbatim by a local missionary.

It also can be purchased at the same sites as The Plains of Aamjiwnaang!


Golden Scibe Award

September 27, 2009

The Plains of Aamjiwnaang won Trafford Publishing’s 2008 Inaugural Golden Scribe award for excellence in the genre of non-fiction. The book beat out hundreds of competing works contending for the award. Said one of the judges, “I couldn’t put it down”.


Excerpt from The Plains of Aamjiwnaang

September 21, 2009

The American Revolution began in 1775 and at first both sides were decidedly against encouraging First Nation allies to get involved. But after the war dragged on indecisively for two years both began to turn to their First Nation allies for assistance. In the spring of 1777 Charles Langlade began to gather warriors for the British from Superior country at La Baye for an expedition south. From there they were sent to Niagara and held in check until needed. Some twenty-three hundred warriors wintered there awaiting orders. At Detroit the British began to ply them with liquor in order to buy their alliance. However, many were unenthusiastic regarding the war. Some were even happy to see the whites fighting amongst themselves. The rebels were looked upon as disobedient children and many felt their chastisement should be left to their father. It became more urgent for the British to protect the frontier so they began to draw even more First Nation warriors into the conflict. A Council was held at Detroit on June 14th 1778 between the British and “the Ottawas, Chippoweys, Hurons, Pouteonatamiess, Delawares, Shawanese, Miamis, Mingoes, Mohawks & the Tribes of Ouashtanon, Saguinan &c. Delawares Sencas”. In total there were sixteen hundred and eighty-three First Nation people congregated there and the council lasted seven days. Both our war chiefs and our village chiefs represented each nation at the council proper. Little Thunder (A-ni-mi-kai-nee) headed the list of nine war chiefs representing the “Chippoweys”. He must have been an impressive sight in his headdress, brigadier’s coat and large King George III medal hanging around his neck. This is the first recording of his name found in the historical record.