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Campus & Community

Prominent Ojibwe scholar to speak at SJU

A prominent Ojibwe scholar is scheduled to pay a visit to Saint John’s University.

Anton Treuer will present “The Cultural Toolbox: Traditional Ojibwe Living in the Modern World.” The lecture is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 23 in the Centenary Room (room 264) of the Quadrangle Building on the Saint John’s University campus.

Sponsored by the Indigenous Students Association, in collaboration with the McCarthy Center’s Initiative for Native Nation Revitalization, Becoming Community, and the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, the program is free and open to the public.

“Today’s Ojibwe people have maintained a dazzling array of deep, beautiful, adaptive ways of connecting to the spiritual, natural, and human beings around them,” Treuer said. “Variations in Ojibwe cultural practices are as diverse as their homelands, but these variations have always followed a distinct path, reflecting an identifiably Ojibwe worldview.”

“While the world around, in, and connected to Ojibwe spaces continues to envelop myriad cultures and peoples, the Ojibwe have found a way to stay recognizable to their ancestors.”

In his presentation, Treuer will tell stories of the traditional practices of one Ojibwe family carried out through the seasons of the year and across the seasons of life, demonstrating the enduring power of Ojibwe culture and identity.

“It is an honor to have Anton Treuer come to CSB+SJU to share his passion for Ojibwe culture and spirituality,” said Ted Gordon, director of the Initiative for Native Nation Revitalization. “Dr. Treuer is unparalleled in his scholarship of and advocacy for the strategies Ojibwe nations use to share their identity with future generations.”

Treuer is a professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University and author of 19 books, including Ojibwe in Minnesota (“Minnesota’s Best Read for 2010” by the Library of Congress Center for the Book), The Assassination of Hole in the Day (American Association for State and Local History Award of Merit, 2012), Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask (2012), Warrior Nation: A History of the Red Lake Ojibwe (Caroline Bancroft History Prize and the American Association of State and Local History Award of Merit, 2015), The Language Warrior’s Manifesto: How to Keep Our Languages Alive No Matter the Odds (2020) and The Cultural Toolbox: Traditional Ojibwe Living in the Modern World (2021).

He is also editor of Oshkaabewis Native Journal, the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language. He has presented lectures throughout the United States and Canada and in several other countries, and he has received more than forty prestigious awards and fellowships, including from the American Philosophical Society, the Bush Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation.

Treuer is on the governing board for the Minnesota State Historical Society. In 2018, he was named Guardian of Culture and Lifeways and recipient of the Pathfinder Award by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums.

Anton Treuer

Anton Treuer