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The Assassination of Hole in the Day
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Minnesota Historical Society Press
Pub Date: 2011
ISBN: 9780873518437
Anton Treuer
The Assassination of Hole in the Day
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The Assassination of Hole in the Day

by Anton Treuer

"The Assassination of Hole in the Day is a masterful history, and more. Anton Treuer illuminates the character of a controversial and charismatic Ojibwe leader from within Ojibwe culture, and tells a powerful story of loss that reverberates in the present." ~ Louise Erdrich

On June 27, 1868, Hole in the Day (Bagonegiizhig) the Younger left Crow Wing, Minnesota, for Washington, DC, to fight the planned removal of the Mississippi Ojibwe to a reservation at White Earth. Several miles from his home, the self-styled leader of all the Ojibwe was stopped by at least twelve Ojibwe men and fatally shot.

Hole in the Day’s death was national news, and rumors of its cause were many: personal jealousy, retribution for his claiming to be head chief of the Ojibwe, retaliation for the attacks he fomented in 1862, or retribution for his attempts to keep mixed-blood Ojibwe off the White Earth Reservation. Still later, investigators found evidence of a more disturbing plot involving some of his closest colleagues: the business elite at Crow Wing.

While most historians concentrate on the Ojibwe relationship with whites to explain this story, Anton Treuer focuses on interactions with other tribes, the role of Ojibwe culture and tradition, and interviews with more than fifty elders to further explain the events leading up to the death of Hole in the Day. The Assassination of Hole in the Day is not only the biography of a powerful leader but an extraordinarily insightful analysis of a pivotal time in the history of the Ojibwe people.

“ An essential study of nineteenth-century Ojibwe leadership and an important contribution to the field of  American Indian Studies by an author of extraordinary knowledge and talent. Treuer’s work is infused with a powerful command over Ojibwe culture and linguistics.”

--Ned Blackhawk, author of Violence Over the Land: Indians and Empires in the  Early American West

Dr. Anton Treuer (pronounced troy-er) is Professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University and author of 14 books. His equity, education, and cultural work has put him on a path of service throughout the United States and several foreign countries. He has a B.A. from Princeton University and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He is Editor of the Oshkaabewis (pronounced o-shkaah-bay-wis) Native Journal, the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language. Dr. Treuer has sat on many organizational boards and has received more than 40 prestigious awards and fellowships, including ones from the American Philosophical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Bush Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. His published works include Warrior Nation: A History of the Red Lake OjibweEverything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to AskOjibwe in Minnesota ("Minnesota's Best Read for 2010" by The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress), The Assassination of Hole in the Day (Award of Merit Winner from the American Association for State and Local History), Atlas of Indian NationsMino-doodaading: Dibaajimowinan Ji-mino-ayaangNaadamaading: Dibaajimowinan Ji-nisidotaadingWiijikiiwending, Ezhichigeyang: Ojibwe Word ListAwesiinyensag: Dibaajimowinan Ji-gikinoo'amaageng ("Minnesota's Best Read for 2011" by The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress), Living Our Language: Ojibwe Tales & Oral Histories, Aaniin Ekidong: Ojibwe Vocabulary Project, Indian Nations of North America, and Omaa Akiing.