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We Are At Home

We Are At Home

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Pictures of the Ojibwe People

Author Bruce White, Foreword by Gerald Vizenor

Minnesota Historical Society Press (February 15, 2008)

A fascinating history of the Ojibwe people at home in the Minnesota landscape through 1950—as told through more than 200 vivid photographs.


Winner of an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) Leadership in History Awards.

In this collection of stunning and storied photographs—ranging from daguerreotypes to studio portraits to snapshots—historian Bruce White explores historical images taken of Ojibwe people through 1950: A baby in a cradleboard. A family building a birch-bark canoe. Studio portraits of girlfriends. Snapshots from a grandmother’s album. These and other familiar scenes are showcased in We Are at Home: Pictures of the Ojibwe People.

This rich record of Native history and culture is available through a quirk of history: white settlement of Minnesota coincided with the development of photographic processes that allowed itinerant and studio photographers to capture images of local people and scenes, including those of the Ojibwe, who had called Minnesota home for centuries. White considers the negotiation that went on between the photographers and the photographed—and what power the latter wielded.

Ultimately, this book tells more about the people in the pictures—what they were doing on a particular day, how they came to be photographed, how they made use of costumes and props—than about the photographers who documented, and in some cases doctored, views of Ojibwe life. The result is a vivid history of a people at home in Minnesota’s landscape.

Author information

Independent historian and anthropologist Bruce White researches and writes for Indian tribes and government agencies. Gerald Vizenor, an American Studies professor at the University of New Mexico, is the author of, among other books, The Everlasting Sky: Voices of the Anishinabe People.

  • 260 pages
  • 225 b&w illustrations
  • 8 x 10.5 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873516228

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