Finally — for those of you who have asked over the years — I have gotten permission to reprint TO WALK THE RED ROAD: MEMORIES OF THE RED LAKE OJIBWE PEOPLE. This is the book of oral history and historical photographs that the students at Red Lake high school collected as part of a project that I directed on the reservation in the late 1980’s. It is the book that brought me to Dan’s attention and became the impetus for the journey that resulted in Neither Wolf nor Dog.
Immediately after the publication of Neither Wolf nor Dog I began receiving inquiries about To Walk the Red Road because of the fact that Dan made mention of it in Neither Wolf nor Dog. I would direct people to Red Lake High School or the tribal archives at Red Lake, since the school held the copyright. But since we had printed so few of them and they had become so popular around the reservation and throughout Indian country, there were none to be had.
School districts are not notoriously wealthy entities, and those on reservations are especially poor. So there has been no money to reprint the book. But now, the school district has granted me permission to reprint a limited number on my own.
I am making them available to you through my sisters’ website, http://wolfnordog.com/. Go there and click on What’s New and follow your way down the text to the place where you can order To Walk the Red Road.
What you will find in this book is the voices of ordinary folks talking about their upbringing and their memories of what their elders told them. There are stories that range from one man’s memory of his grandfather being brought home on a travois after a battle with the Sioux to a woman’s recollection of making a joke to a white woman in a store that had the white woman believing that the Red Lakers made soup out of dogfood.
What makes these stories so wonderful is that they were told to the young people. These were not people talking to an anthropologist or professional interviewer. These are the parents’ and grandparents’ memories and teachings that they want their own children and grandchildren to hear.
I want this book to get out to the general public, so I will probably reprint this post several times in the future. If I don’t, it will simply scroll into obscurity, and new visitors to the website will not be aware of this wonderful treasure that is finally available to them.
I will also post a bit more about the book in the next few weeks. I’d like to share a few stories about its creation with all of you.
So, if you’re interested, go to http://wolfnordog.com/ and order your copy. You can, of course, order it as part of a gift box or basket or with Neither Wolf nor Dog if you know someone to whom you’d like to give Neither Wolf nor Dog and the book that helped bring it into being.
And to all of you who have waited — thanks for your patience.