In this engaging oral history, Doug Williams, Anishinaabe elder, teacher and mentor to Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, recounts the history of the Michi Saagiig Nisnaabeg, tracing through personal and historical events, and presenting what manifests as a crucial historical document that confronts entrenched institutional narratives of the history of the region. Edited collaboratively with Simpson, the book uniquely retells pivotal historical events that have been conventionally unchallenged in dominant historical narratives, while presenting a fascinating personal perspective in the singular voice of Williams, whose rare body of knowledge spans back to the 1700s. With this wealth of knowledge, wit and storytelling skill, Williams recounts key moments of his personal history, connecting them to the larger history of the Anishinaabeg and other Indigenous communities.

Part of our Indigenous Collection.

Other contributors: Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Editor).

Storytelling is not just a gift. It’s not just an art. It’s also a responsibility: the weaving together of history, philosophy, culture and humour frequently highlighting a culture’s perspective on the world. Doug Williams has been doing this as long as I can remember. He lives the culture, not just talks about it. The people and places he talks about in Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg are more a part of our history then all the things going on in Ottawa. Reading Doug’s book took me back and reintroduced me to some people from my childhood, and taught me things I didn’t know about our community. The key to moving forward is always knowing where you are starting from. There are so many more stories hidden in the roads, trees and people of our community, this book just whets the appetite.

-Drew Hayden Taylor

Subject Indigenous Studies / Oral History
Published May 2018
Price $19.95 CDN
Pages 168 pp (Paper)
Dimensions 5.5″ × 8.5″ × .5″
ISBN-10 1927886090
ISBN-13 9781927886090

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About the Author

Doug Williams (Gidigaa Migizi) is Anishnaabe and former Chief of Mississauga’s Curve Lake First Nation. He is currently Co-Director and a Graduate Faculty member for the Indigenous Studies Ph.D. Program at Trent University and oversees the cultural and spiritual component of the program. He is a member of the Pike Clan, and was one of the first graduates of what is now called Indigenous Studies at Trent University in 1972. He is a Pipe Carrier, Sweat Lodge Keeper, and ceremony leader. He is a language speaker and considers himself a trapper, a hunter and a fisher. Beyond his work in the academy, he is active at the community level and works to ensure that Indigenous Knowledge is maintained within the community.