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Bear Island

The War at Sugar Point

Gerald Vizenor Vizenor

Publication Year: 2006

Drawing on the traditional ways of Anishinaabe storytelling, acclaimed poet Gerald Vizenor illuminates the 1898 battle at Sugar Point in Minnesota in this epic poem. Fought between the Pillagers of the Leech Lake Reservation (one of the original five clans of the Anishinaabe tribe) and U.S. soldiers, the battle marked a turning point in relations between the government and Native Americans. Although out-numbered by more than three to one, the Pillager fighters won convincingly.

Weaving together strands of myth, memory, legend, and history, Bear Island lyrically conveys a historical event that has been forgotten not only by the majority culture but also by some Anishinaabe people—bringing back to light a key moment in Minnesota’s history with clarity of vision and emotional resonance.

Gerald Vizenor is professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico. He is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, White Earth Reservation. His previous books include The People Named the Chippewa and Griever, for which he won an American Book Award.

Jace Weaver is professor and director of the Institute of Native American Studies at the University of Georgia.

Published by: University of Minnesota Press

Series: Indigenous Americas

Series Page, Title, Copyright, Quotes

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pp. vii-viii

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Jace Weaver

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pp. ix-xiv

The Third United States Infantry, established in 1784 as the First American Regiment, was the storied veteran of many imperial campaigns. Created by act of Congress, it formed the nucleus of the regular United States Army. ...

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Introduction: The War at Sugar Point

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pp. 3-10

The Anishinaabe observed the miigis, the midewiwin spiritual shell, or cowrie, as a source of visionary presence in the northern woodland lakes. The Grand Medicine Society, midewiwin, is an association of Native healers and shamans. The miigis arose from the eastern sea and moved westward with the natural course of the sun. ...

Overture: Manidoo Creations

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pp. 11-16

Bagwana: The Pillagers of Liberty

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pp. 17-36

Hole in the Day: Grafters and Warrants

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pp. 37-50

Bearwalkers: 5 October 1898

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pp. 51-74

Gatling Gun: 6 October 1898

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pp. 75-82

War Necklace: 9 October 1898

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pp. 83-94

E-ISBN-13: 9780816697939
E-ISBN-10: 0816697930
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816646999

Page Count: 112
Publication Year: 2006

Edition: First edition
Series Title: Indigenous Americas