In or about 1820, glassmaker Henry David Schoolcraft developed a hubristic side gig in ethnography. He began publishing accounts of the Lake Superior region’s native language and lore. Despite being full of factual errors, these books established him an expert, and he was appointed as a federal “Indian agent." Tasked with advancing the United States’ appropriative interest in the Michigan territory, Schoolcraft continued publishing books on Ojibwe culture, all riddled with half truths and invented names.Read More
This is feral Mishigamaa, formed by glaciers, volcanoes, storms and floods, bleeding out its age in copper, iron and limonite. This is the land where wolves roam the frozen lake in winter, and migrated birds return within hours of the melt. This is where the Mamaceqtaw speared salmon by torchlight, the Ojibwe recorded their dreams on birch scrolls, and the ghosts of the Mishinimaki still dance in their snowshoes.Read More
The ice was quiet, unlike the first lake of the day, which produced sounds that instilled fear from the part of my brain that remembers danger from long before I was born.Read More
Money grows on trees up here in the U.P., though it takes some education to spot it.Read More
Bryan builds a fire the way ranchers herd cattle, the way generals study a map, the way God created the earth.Read More
Whether told around a table of loved ones, on a movie screen, or even in a series of YouTube fails, the story of how holiday plans turn spectacularly wacky is a perennial favorite.
This is not one of those stories.Read More
At a recent party, Chris read my archetype and, as he often does, elaborated on it out of his own intuition. He offered caution about too much motion fostering an inability to settle on something when the right something arose.
The word didn't sound the way it used to. To my ears, it sounded like a loanword from a more comprehensive language, like an Inuit term for snow or a German term for sadness. For the first time, I didn't hear "settle" and think of concession, resignation, or inertial sinking into the earth.
Instead, I thought of the Keweenaw.