Walking The Old Road
The story of a once vibrant, now vanished off-reservation Ojibwe village—and a vital chapter of the history of the North Shore
At the turn of the nineteenth century, one mile east of Grand Marais, Minnesota, you would have found Chippewa City, a village that as many as 200 Anishinaabe families called home. Today you will find only Highway 61, private lakeshore property, and the one remaining village building: St. Francis Xavier Church. In Walking the Old Road, Staci Lola Drouillard guides readers through the story of that lost community, reclaiming for history the Ojibwe voices that have for so long, and so unceremoniously, been silenced.
Blending memoir, oral history, and narrative, Walking the Old Roadreaches back to a time when Chippewa City, then called Nishkwakwansing (at the edge of the forest), was home to generations of Ojibwe ancestors. Drouillard, whose own family once lived in Chippewa City, draws on memories, family history, historical analysis, and testimony passed from one generation to the next to conduct us through the ages of early European contact, government land allotment, family relocation, and assimilation.