Ajijaak (Crane)

Ajijaak (Crane)

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Author: Cecelia Rose LaPointe

Illustrator: Dolly Peltier

Translator: Margaret Noodin

Publisher: Waub Ajijaak Press (2017)

Written in Ojibwe with English translation, Ajijaak Babaamise Naamitigong (Crane Flying in the Land Beneath the Trees) celebrates the land of the Gaaching Zibii Daawaa Anishinaabek, also known as the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. The Manistee region in Michigan has traditionally been referred to as Naamitigong, the land beneath the trees, which emphasizes the connection between the Anishinaabek and the land we all share. The story is set in a marsh that has been polluted by factory runoff. Working together, a group of animals voice their collective concern and ask for:

  • Gaawiin wiinichigaagesinoon. No more pollution.
  • Gaawiin bichibokigaadesinoon. No poison.
  • Gaawiin mindaweshkaasii. No greed.
  • Gaawiin baapinodasiin aki. No disrespect to the land.
  • Gaawiin baapinodasiin nibi. No disrespect to the water.
  • Gaawiin baapinodasiin ziibiins. No disrespect to the creek.

Eventually, as a result of their work, and undoubtedly some changes to policy and business models, “maajii’aabiziiwijiwan o’o ziibiins (the creek begins to heal).” The emphasis on teamwork and a need to plan a future that is sustainable for everyone is applicable today.