Following Nimishoomis

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Following Nimishoomis

Postby Forest_Dump on March 16th, 2013, 6:41 am 

I thought I would reference and recommend a book I am slowly getting through:

Helen Agger (2008) "Following Nimishoomis: The Trout Lake History of Dedibaayaanimanook Sarah Keesick Olsen." Theytus Books, Penticton, B.C. and Oroville, Washington.

Following publication of M. Shostak's "Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman," there have been a number of books written that are supposed to give an "insider's" or native perspective of other cultures but I find very few of these are very informative or often even readable. The book by Agger I find is a very interesting and readable exception. "Following Nimishoomis" is a summation of over ten years of notes collected by Agger from her mother that were memories of her life covering much of the 20th century. Dedibaayaanimanook was born to a traditional Ojibway/Anishinaabe family from northwestern Ontario. Although EuroCanadian colonization had begun in this region, the Keesicks had managed to avoid a lot of this (i.e., the impact of being taken to one of the residential schools) and maintain a traditional hunter-gatherer and trapper lifestyle. A lot of the details of this traditional lifestyle are recorded and preserved and much of this should be considered a classical and useful phenomenological contribution to anthropology. In fact, I think there is much here that would be of interest to an archaeologist as well as an ethnographer and overall I am finding this book to be a quite positive history of a region that often appears in the literature to be relatively harsh and grim. I definitely recommend this one and have been enjoying reading it.
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