Anishinaabeg Leadership, 1760-1845

Cary Miller

328 pages
1 illustration, 1 map, 1 table, 1 glossary


November 2010


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November 2016


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eBook (PDF)
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November 2010


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About the Book

Cary Miller’s Ogimaag: Anishinaabeg Leadership, 1760–1845 reexamines Ojibwe leadership practices and processes in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. At the end of the nineteenth century, anthropologists who had studied Ojibwe leadership practices developed theories about human societies and cultures derived from the perceived Ojibwe model. Scholars believed that the Ojibwes typified an anthropological “type” of Native society, one characterized by weak social structures and political institutions. Miller counters those assumptions by looking at the historical record and examining how leadership was distributed and enacted long before scholars arrived on the scene. Miller uses research produced by Ojibwes themselves, American and British officials, and individuals who dealt with the Ojibwes, both in official and unofficial capacities.
By examining the hereditary position of leaders who served as civil authorities over land and resources and handled relations with outsiders, the warriors, and the respected religious leaders of the Midewiwin society, Miller provides an important new perspective on Ojibwe history.

Author Bio

Cary Miller is an associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Her articles have appeared in the American Indian Quarterly.


"Ogimaag had to reflect the views of family leaders who made up village councils, women's councils, and the warriors. However, they had a great deal of decision-making power. The view of Chippewa society that emerges is of a complex society that was fluid, connected, spiritually based, and consensus dominated."—G. Gagnon, CHOICE

"Miller has written an important political and social history of a region all too often ignored by scholars interested in the early history of North America."—Michael Witgen, Minnesota History

"Miller's Ogimaag is a powerful and dynamic portrayal of Anishinaabeg life and leadership at a critical time in North American history. It is, simply, a must read for historians, Native studies scholars and students, and anyone interested in Anishinaabeg culture and history."—Miigaanwewidam James Sinclair, SAIL

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. Power in the Anishinaabeg World
2. Ogimaag: Hereditary Leaders
3. Mayosewininiwag: Military Leaders
4. Gechi-Midewijig: Midewiwin Leaders
5. The Contest for Chiefly Authority at Fond du Lac

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