Literature of the Indian Nations of Wisconsin is a unique anthology that presents the oral traditions, legends, speeches, myths, histories, literature, and historically significant documents of the current twelve independent bands and Indian Nations of Wisconsin. Kathleen Tigerman sought input from tribe elders and educators to provide an accurate chronological portrait of each nation, including the Siouan Ho-Chunk; the Algonquian Menominee, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi; and three groups originally from what is now New York State: the Iroquoian Oneida, the Stockbridge-Munsee band of the Mohican Nations, and the Brothertown Nation.
Some of these works feature a cultural hero or refer to very ancient times—more than six thousand years ago—and others are contemporary. These pieces focus on issues of Wisconsin Native communities by sharing Native knowledge and dialogue about sovereignty, decolonization, cultural genocide, forced removals, assimilation, and other concerns.
This anthology introduces us to a vivid and unforgettable group of voices, enhanced by many maps, photographs, and chronologies. Literature of the Indian Nations of Wisconsin fosters cross-cultural understanding among non-Native readers and the people of the First Nations.
The most important aspect of this rich and widely diversified volume is that all of the pieces are written or retold by members of the seven tribal groups now living in Wisconsin: the Menominee, Ho-Chunk, Ojibwe, Potowawatomi, Oneida, Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohicans, and Brotherton nations. These writings are acts of "survivance," a combination of survival and resistance, and they speak for the humanity of the speaker and writer. Within the sections dedicated to each of these nations, the reader finds creation stories, folk stories, poetry, short stories and contemporary commentaries. This range allows teachers of all levels to find material appropriate to their classrooms. Historical or explanatory notes accompany each piece. In addition, the pieces are annotated and there is an extensive bibliography.