Pub Date: 2015
Lee Obizaan Staples, Chato Ombishkebines Gonzalez
Aanjikiing: Changing Worlds - An Anishinaabe Traditional Funeral
by Lee Obizaan Staples & Chato Ombishkebines Gonzalez
This book is a model teaching text of an Anishinaabe traditional funeral ceremony as conducted by Lee Obizaan Staples in the Ojibwe language. The introduction and the six stages of the funeral ceremony are presented in Ojibwe, with a parallel English text on the facing page. An Ojibwe-English glossary allow language students to access the Ojibwe text more directly.
In his introduction, Obizaan tells how he learned and was called to perform this ceremony. He explains why he had it written down:
"Maanoo da-ayaawag ge-ni-bimiwidoojig i'iw akeyaa gaa-izhi-miinigoowiziyang anishinaabewiyang / So there are others in the future who can carry on these teachings we have been given as Anishinaabe."
He provides detailed guidance for those Anishinaabe who will be called to conduct funerals, closing with a reminder that tobacco should be presented to him or Ombishkebines "dabwaa-aabajitooyeg omaa gaa-ozhibii'amaang / before you use what we have written here."
Lee Obizaan Staples is one of the spiritual advisors for the Mille Lacs reservation in Minnesota and a fluent speaker of Ojibwemowin. Besides conducting ceremonies and feasts, including funerals, to meet the needs of Anishinaabe in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Obizaan is also a ceremonial drum keeper and conducts a Mide Lodge at Mille Lacs.
Chato Ombishkebines Gonzalez is Obizaan's language apprentice and oshkaabewis. Obishkebines comes from the Lac Courte Oreilles reservation in Wisconsin and has worked with Obizaan for over ten years. He also holds a B.A. in Objibwemowin from the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota.