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 (Creator's Land). 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.
A critically important manifesto written by an Anishinabe leader. Every First Nations leader in North America must read Our Hearts Are as One Fire. It is the book we have all been waiting for.
makwa ogimaa presents an intimate story of Anishinabe traditional leadership, one that reflects the place of ‘an ethics of relationship’ that is so urgently needed as we search for paradigms of leadership that once again connect us to each other and to the Earth.
Jerry Fontaine, makwa ogimaa, is from the Ojibway-Anishinabe community of Sagkeeng. He currently teaches Indigenous Studies at the University of Winnipeg.
Foreword / Lee Anne Cameron
Ah-di-so-kay Anishinabeg / Traditional Storytellers
Maaitaa / Prologue
Nitam igo / Introduction
1 Gah-o-mah-mah-wahn-dah-wi-zid gah-ki-nah-gay-goo ji-gi-kayn-dah-so aki / A prophet is someone who has a completed view of the world
2 Obwandiac / The Man who Travelled and Stopped at Many Places
3 Tecumtha / He Walked Across
4 Shingwauk / The White Pine, Boss of All the Trees
5 N’swi-ish-ko-day-kawn Anishinabeg O’dish-ko-day-kawn / Our Hearts Are as One Fire
6 Meegwetch bi-zhin-dah-wi-yeg / Thank you for listening to me
Wayekwaase / It is finished
Glossary; Notes; Index
Living Indigenous Leadership
Native Narratives on Building Strong Communities
Breathing Life into the Stone Fort Treaty
An Anishnabe Understanding of Treaty One
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