|About the Book|
The story unfolds through the eyes of Angeline, a young Native American woman who was given up for adoption as a baby. As an adult, she moves her life to Madeline Island in search of her cultural roots just as conflicts flare. The conflicts serve asMoreThe story unfolds through the eyes of Angeline, a young Native American woman who was given up for adoption as a baby. As an adult, she moves her life to Madeline Island in search of her cultural roots just as conflicts flare. The conflicts serve as a wormhole that quickly and completely inject her into her Native American culture. She strives, as do all those involved in the conflict, to find a balance, or equilibrium, in her life between the real and the ideal. She does so with the aid of a Native American spirit, simply called Grandfather, who teaches her Native American culture and enlists her aid in bringing the Spirit Stone back to the Reservation. Today, a new conflict, a proposed open-pit iron mine, threatens northern Wisconsin. The mine would be located in the Bad River watershed, perilizing sacred wild rice sloughs. The mine, at four-and-a-half miles long, would be the largest open-pit iron mine in the United States. A portion of the sales from this book goes to fighting that threat. Based on the 1996 blockade by the Anishinabe Ogichidaa of the Wisconsin Central railroad tracks to prevent sulfide tankers from crossing the Bad River Reservation in northern Wisconsin for delivery to the White Pines Copper Mine in Michigans Upper Peninsula. The manuscript explores multi-faceted Native American perspectives of the cultures spiritual beliefs that justified and supported the blockade, as well as ancillary conflicts that occurred during the same time span (the Madeline Island croquet incident, leasing of tribal lands on Madeline Island to wealthy summer residents for upscale houses that restricted access to burial grounds, repatriation of the Spirit Stone to Bad River from the Wisconsin Historical Society Museum on Madeline Island). Rather than encapsulate Native American perspective through the eyes of a single tribal representative, this book offers a full spectrum of tribal perspectives. In contradiction to the popular mainstream view, tribal beliefs span a wide spectrum from traditionalists to skeptics, from those who stand with one foot in both tribal and mainstream cultures, to those who lean toward political viewpoints or those who rely heavily on spiritual beliefs, from those who believe in the power of the gun to those who believe in the spiritual path, or acting only in a good way. In this time when mining issues are paramount in Wisconsin, and support for environmental protection enjoys widespread support nationwide, this manuscript explores spiritual, political and sociological aspects of those issues. A proposed open-pit iron mine in northern Wisconsin has generated discussion in Wisconsin about environmental issues and the state Assemblys decision to water down environmental safeguards. The proposed mine would be located in the Bad River watershed, which directly threatens the Kakagon wild rice sloughs. According to the Ojibwe migration story, the Ojibwe migrated to northern Wisconsin from the east, along the St. Lawrence Seaway, in search of a place where food grew on water (wild rice). The Bad River Tribe has already gone on record in opposition to the mine. This is a work of faction, fiction based on an actual historical event. The 1994 railroad blockade was noteworthy for two reasons -- first, the Anishinabe Ogichidaa managed to avoid violence and, secondly, the Tribe won. The treaty rights conflicts of the 1980s, the 1996 railroad blockade and todays conflict with the proposed iron mine all center on the ongoing question of assimilation. In each instance the Anishinabe were expected to give in to business interests. This is a book for those ready to deepen their spiritual ties to Mother Earth by learning from a culture that has had an unbroken relationship with the earth for thousands of years. If you recycle religiously and are ready for the next step, this is a must-read. If you have ever walked in the woods and made eye-contact with wild animals, you are ready for Equilibrium.