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This interdisciplinary account of a contemporary Great Lakes Algonkian community explores how the ethical system underlying Odawa (Ottawa) myth and ritual sustains traditionalists' efforts to confront the legal and social issues threatening tribal identity. Because many Odawa are not members of federally recognized communities, anthropologist Melissa A. Pflug focuses on their struggle to overcome long-term social marginalization and achieve collective sovereignty.
In profound ways, contemporary Odawa people are "walking the paths" of their ancestors Neolin, Pontiac, The Trout, and Tenskwatawa. Those prophetic leaders, together with mythic Great Persons, established a legacy tied to land, language, and tradition - a sovereign identity that defines Odawa life in terms of pimadaziwin: life-sustaining, moral, and healthy interrelationships.
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