Ogimaag: Anishinaabeg Leadership, 1760-1845

By Cary Miller | Go to book overview

5
The Contest for Chiefly
Authority at Fond du Lac

A person who is an expert hunter, one who knows the communica-
tions between lakes and rivers, can make long harangues, is a
conjurer and has a family of his own; such a man will not fail of
being followed by several Indians
.—Andrew Graham

Anishinaabeg ogimaag did not claim coercive power, but they held important roles in mediating conflicts over the use of community resources, including fisheries, hunting grounds, maple sugar stands, and garden plots. European American fur traders and military officials had learned that when they wished to build in Native communities, they should make formal requests to the chief and council and present appropriate gifts on an annual basis. Although the traders and military officials seem not to have made the connection, these gifts created and maintained fictive kinship ties necessary for neighbors to coexist peacefully. Native people also considered these gifts to be compensation for the resources given up for the location of buildings and the support of the foreigners who inhabited them. When these or other outsiders refused to seek permission, present gifts, or share their food in times of need, the Anishinaabeg considered it a grave insult. Missionaries in particular often neglected to participate in appropriate gift exchange, largely because their cultural context and sense of mission discouraged an understanding of Anishinaabeg cultural norms.

The first mission society to have a long-term presence in the western Great Lakes after the departure of the Jesuits in 1763

-183-

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Ogimaag: Anishinaabeg Leadership, 1760-1845
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vi
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Power in the Anishinaabeg World 21
  • 2 - Ogimaag Hereditary Leaders 65
  • 3 - Mayosewininiwag Military Leaders 113
  • 4 - Gechi-Midewijig Midewiwin Leaders 147
  • 5 - The Contest for Chiefly Authority at Fond Du Lac 183
  • Conclusion 227
  • Notes 237
  • Glossary 275
  • Bibliography 277
  • Index 295
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