MARQUETTE, Mich.—An anthology of creative works representing the contemporary American Indian experience in Michigan has been published. It is titled Voice on the Water: Great Lakes Native America Now. The 304-page paperback features poetry, short stories, essays, full-color photographs and artwork. It also includes a glossary of Anishinaabe terms and contributor biographies.
Northern Michigan University’s Center for Native American Studies and the NMU Press collaborated on the project, which was made possible by a $15,000 grant from the Michigan Humanities Council.
“We wanted this book to appeal to a broad audience and our hope is that it will also be used as a textbook from the junior high level through college,” said Grace Chaillier, adjunct professor at NMU and the project’s coordinator.
“Indians in general are not very well known as contemporary people in American society. If you ask students to draw depictions of them, it’s usually with tee-pees, bows and arrows and other images from the past. We want to introduce ourselves as Indian people, but also as contemporary Michigan residents so our Michigan neighbors will know us better.”
More than 200 pieces were submitted for consideration from within the state and beyond. A committee of campus scholars, along with a community elder and author, selected the 88 that are included in the book.
“The tough part was not being able to include all of them because there were so many quality submissions,” said April Lindala, director of the NMU Center for Native American Studies. “I’ve seen Native anthologies that revolve around themes, but this is the first that specifically relates to the contemporary experience in Michigan. We made a conscious effort to have a span of generations’ voices included, so there is a lot of youth representation.
“The seeds for this project were first planted several years ago, before I became director, but it’s extremely fulfilling to see it finally completed. It has been a labor of love for the last two years. The book is something tangible we can carry and hold close to our hearts and say, ‘We did this.’”
Voice on the Water is available at the NMU Bookstore or online at www.nmubookstore.com. It may also be purchased through Partners Book Distributing.
The contributors, listed by city of residence (or hometown, if an NMU student) are:
Ann Arbor: Carole Franklin; Margaret Noori; Philip Deloria; Baraga:Kaylee Brunk; Sally Brunk; Cory Fountaine, senior, art and design; Margaret Shelifoe; Bark River: Clara Corbett; Bay City: Karen Chippewa; Mastella Quaderer; Clare: Gilbert Williams; Coldwater: Shirley Brauker; Dearborn Heights: Janis Fairbanks; Flint: Niko Mitchell; Grand Ledge: Rosalie Sanara Petrouske; Grand Rapids: Courtney Biggs; Levi Rickert; Gwinn: Kevin Lowe; Martin Reinhardt; Ashley Shelafoe, freshman, general university studies; Taylor Shelafoe; Lacie Stanton; Pamella Vincent; Hamilton: Cameron Witbeck, master’s candidate, creative writing; Haslett: Patricia Shackleton; Hopkins: Cherish Parrish; Interlochen: Jessica Rickert; Iron River: Lois Maki; Ishpeming: Penny Olson; Diane Salmela Rice; Kinross: Ty Dettloff, senior, English writing; Manistee: Austen Brauker; Cecelia LaPointe; Maple City: Lois Beardslee; Marquette: Pat Anthony, senior, history; Teresa Bertossi; Shirley Brozzo; Grace Chailier; Echoe Deibert; Mike Ellison; Mary Henson; Bill Houle; April Lindala; Kenn Pitawanakwat; Alex Ruuska; Mt. Pleasant: Charmaine Benz, Ronald G. Douglas, Marcella Hadden, Judy Pamp, Ben Ramirez-Shkwegnaabi; Muskegon Heights: Alan Compo Norberg; Newaygo: Nancy Fuchs; Madison Rose Kennedy Kequom; Painsdale: Jamie Brotherton; Plymouth: Sybil Hunter; Sault Ste. Marie: Phil BellfyGeorge Tessier; Skandia: Barbara Bradley; Aimee Cree Dunn; Vulcan: Robelle Degenaer;
McHenry: Max Wojciechowski, junior, English writing;
Duluth: Linda LeGarde Grover; Minneapolis: Heid Erdrich; Sawyer: Jim Northrup; Margaret Noori;
Albuquerque: Pam Abel; Rio Rancho: Daniel Ramirez;
San Antonio: Charlene Brissette;
Fairfax: Melissa Beard;
Hayward: Sean Fahrlander