On a hot summer day, a young Anishinabe boy visits the shores of Gitchee Gumee with his mother. Nanaboozhoo, their teacher, is before them, presenting himself as a mass of land that stretches across the horizon. As they visit, Keeshig tells his mother about what he calls “the Ojibwe pterodactyls” that live with Nanaboozhoo. He talks about their hunting and what they like to eat. At the end of the story, Keeshig surprises his mom by sharing that the Ojibwe pterodactyls are indeed the thunderbirds and that they are the heartbeat of Nanaboozhoo. Keeshig’s mom is so happy and grateful to hear his story and gives him a big hug, letting him know that he is her heart.
Keeshig's story, transcribed by his mother, is accompanied by stunningly beautiful colour illustrations by his father, Robert Spade, and his brother, Kiniw Spade. This remarkably beautiful children's picture book is a true family effort! Ages 3 - 7.
Nenaboozhoo left us many gifts.
The Trail of Nenaboozhoo is a remarkable and powerful collection of sacred Ojibwe creation stories that tell of a legendary past in which Nenaboozhoo, the creator spirit of Ojibwe legend, along with various beloved animal spirits, teach their wisdom. Transcribed from Isaac Murdoch's oral storytelling, these stories are accompanied by beautiful illustrations by renowned artists Isaac Murdoch and Christi Belcourt. Many of the stories appear in both English and Anishinaabemowin. Moving, profound, and beautiful, this text is a vitally important contribution to Indigenous literature and to the preservation of Anishinaabe language and culture.
From the Foreword, by Isaac Murdoch:
"Everything we have can be accredited to the gifts from the spirit world. As we are now in abrupt climate change we can see the world-wide ecological collapse happening before our very eyes. How important was the birch bark canoe? The wigwam? How important were those gifts that were given to us? I think they were very important. They were more than important; they were sacred.
"And so its with great hopes and encouragement that I offer these stories as a map to understand how to go back to the old ways. The old people always said we are going to go back to the old ways and I truly believe the time is now. We mustn’t wait.
"Nenaboozhoo is a spirit that was brought to the earth who is highly respected to this day by my people. They say when he was in spirit form he went through four levels of power. Through each power he went through he went back to the centre saying he didn’t want to leave. But the Great Mystery told him, “\'keep going, keep going, you’re needed somewhere.'
"And he made his way through those four powers and ended up on earth. His life here on earth was magical. All the rivers, all of the mountains all of the beautiful colours that we see, were created with Nenaboozhoo and his magical trail on earth. They say one day ten men will go fasting and call Nenaboozhoo back and the world will be new again.
"Nothing can stop the power that is here."
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