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Aanjikiing / Changing Worlds

Aanjikiing / Changing Worlds

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An Anishinaabe Traditional Funeral

Authors Lee Obizaan Staples and Chato Ombishkebin Gonzalez

Minnesota Historical Society Press (September 5, 2023)

A detailed account of the Ojibwe funeral ceremony as practiced by Lee Obizaan Staples at Lake Lena, Minnesota, on the reservation of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.


As a young man, Lee Obizaan Staples learned from his elders how to conduct an Ojibwe funeral. He memorized, in Ojibwe, all the steps involved in the pre- and post-funeral feasts, the wake, and the ceremony—including directions to those present, specific prayers, the uses of tobacco, instructions to the deceased, and much more. Since 1995, he has answered the call of the tobacco that always seems to find him and never seems to cease. He and Ombishkebines, whom he selected to carry these teachings forward, provide both the Ojibwe teachings and an English version that explains, rather than translates, the teachings. This book is a guide for those who have been chosen to carry on this work and for those seeking a deeper understanding of Anishinaabe traditional funeral rites.

Author Information

Lee Obizaan Staples is a spiritual advisor for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. He is from the Aazhoomog community (also known as Lake Lena, Minnesota), and he extends his help to all the surrounding communities. He has published two other books explaining the ceremonies that Anishinaabe go through during their lifetimes, as they were passed down to him. Other communities may vary in teachings; Obizaan shares wha the was taught so they will live on among the Ojibwe.

Chato Ombishkebines Gonzalez is a language and ceremonial apprentice, scholar, and teacher. He has worked with Lee Obizaan Staples since 2006, learning language,customs, ceremonial procedures, and community history. He taught Ojibwe at Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Medium School; he also worked on five monolingual Ojibwe books created by the Aanjibimaadizing program of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. He isan Ojibwe language and subject matter expert for Rosetta Stone's Ojibwe language course materials.

  • Trade Paperback
  • 170 pages
  • 9 in H | 6 in W
  • ISBN: 9781681342795

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