Our Hearts Are as One Fire
An Ojibway-Anishinabe Vision for the Future
A vision shared. A manifesto. This remarkable work draws on Ojibway-, Ota’wa-, and Ishkodawatomi-Anishinabe world views, history, and lived experience to develop a wholly Ojibway-Anishinabe interpretation of the role of traditional leadership and governance today.
Taking as his starting point the idea that Anishinabeg need to reconnect with non-colonized modes of thinking, social organization, and decision making in order to achieve genuine sovereignty, Jerry Fontaine (makwa ogimaa) looks to historically significant models. He tells of three great Ota’wa, Shawnee and Ojibway-Anishinabe leaders – Obwandiac, Tecumtha, and Shingwauk – and of the N’swi-ish-ko-day-kawn Anishinabeg O’dish-ko-day-kawn (Three Fires Confederacy). These leaders challenged violent and aggressive colonial expansion that would shape the future of Manitou Aki (North America). In Our Hearts Are as One Fire, Fontaine recounts their stories from an Ojibway-Anishinabe perspective using Ojibwaymowin language and knowledge, woven together with conversations with elders and descendants of the three leaders.
The result is a book that reframes the history of Manitou Aki and shares a vision of how Ojibway, Ota’wa and Ishkodawatomi-Anishinabe spiritual and cultural values, language, and legal and political principles will support the leaders of today and tomorrow.
This work will speak to members of Ojibway-, Ota’wa-, Ishkodawatomi-Anishinabe and other Indigenous communities. More broadly, it offers a new vision for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and scholars of law, history, politics, and reconciliation.
Jerry Fontaine, makwa ogimaa, is from the Ojibway-Anishinabe community of Sagkeeng. He currently teaches Indigenous Studies at the University of Winnipeg.
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