Public Affairs

Two deaths, days apart, of Midewiwin  people have brought the conflict between secular practices and religious beliefs to the forefront.

Most people outside of tribal communities have never heard of Midewiwin, a religion that requires a body to be preserved intact for burial four days after death.

Image from , an online Ojibwe People's Dictionary.

On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa, Brian McInnes talks with Obizaan [Lee Staples], a spiritual advisor for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and Chato Gonzalez about ceremonial traditions - including funerals - and striving for better cross-cultural cooperation and understanding.


2/16 Ojibwe Stories - Gaganoonididaa: Cross-Cultural Understanding

Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay

“Black lives matter.” “Blue lives (meaning police officers) matter.”  Here in Duluth, we like to think all lives matter and in our comparatively small town, with a comparatively small number of people of color, we like to think that we don’t have the kinds of issues and tensions that you find in other places around the nation.

On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa, host Erik Redix has a conversation with Dan Jones about his life growing up in Ontario, his family, and the practices of traditional storytelling.


1/19 Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa

Dan Jones is from the Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation in Ontario and is an Anishinaabemowin ("Ojibwe language") teacher at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, Minnesota.

CHUM Duluth

There will be plenty of time in 2015 to talk about the challenges in our community, but first, let's take some time to look at what went right in 2014.

From environmental issues, progress looking after the city's most vulnerable residents, to Duluth's splash after splash on national media, there's a lot going on to be excited about.

On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa, Erik Redix has a conversation with Don Wedll, former Commissioner of Natural Resources for the Mille Lacs Band, about the landmark 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision that reaffirmed the off-reservation hunting and fishing rights of Ojibwe Bands in the region.


12/15 Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa - Reaffirming Treaty Rights

Flickr/ CDC Global

Readers know that Ebola makes for a terrifying threat in novels.  Whether the characters are endangered by it as a flesh-eating disease or the bad guys are plotting bioterrorism with it, most people are only familiar with the virus as a plot contrivance in a book.

Once Ebola stepped off the page, though, and became a global concern – or panic, if you will – conflicting information AND conflicting attitudes began to emerge.

On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa, we have a conversation with our own host Erik Redix about the 1894 murder of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe ogimaa (chief) Giishkitawag, also known as Joe White. Redix's new book, The Murder of Joe White: Ojibwe Leadership and Colonialism in Wisconsin was published this September by Michigan State University Press.

11/17 Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa - The Murder of Joe White

The Safe and Supportive Schools act was signed into law in April of 2014 and now the conversation is turning to, not only ways to protect the victims, but the appropriate way to deal with their harassers. Duluth Mayor Don Ness has launched the Mayor's Campaign to End Bullying and other conversations are taking place about the bullies themselves.

On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa, host Erik Redix has a conversation with Professor David Beaulieu, the new Ruth A. Myers Endowed Chair in UMD's Education Department, about his research and the future of American Indian Education.


10/20 Ojibwe Stories: Dr. David Beaulieu

Flickr/ Global Panorama

The videotape of Ray Rice punching his now-wife in the face and knocking her unconscious, the news that Adrian Peterson used a switch on his four year old son hard enough to leave marks, has brought the public consciousness back to the issue of domestic violence, accountability, why women stay and a host of other topics.

On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa, Larry Amik Smallwood talks with host Erik Redix about the Wild Rice season, and the importance of respecting its gifts.


9/15 Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa - Wild Rice Season

Sam Taylor-Wood

The death of comedian, actor and philanthropist Robin Williams has left the world reeling.  Monday night at 6pm, Community Conversations will focus on depression and identity.  Are you a human being or a human "doing," and how does that make you feel?  Plus information about help for depression sufferers and their families right here in the Twin Ports. 

On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa, UMD professor Brian McInnes talks with host Erik Redix about his latest book project, Between the Lines: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow, a biography of his great-grandfather, an Ojibwe man many-times decorated as a WWI soldier.


8/18 Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa - Francis Pegahmagabow

On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa, Larry Amik Smallwood talks with host Erik Redix about growing up in the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in the 1950s and 1960s, then his journey away from, and eventually back to the region.


7/21 Ojibwe Stories - Gaganoonididaa: Growing up in the Mille Lacs Band Community