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Balancing Two Worlds: Jean-Baptiste Assiginack and the Odawa Nation, 1768-1866 is a new book published by Dr. Cecil King, an Odawa from Wikwemikong and an internationally-recognized educator.
Jean-Baptiste Assiginack is a controversial hero. He was an Odawa war chief, an interpreter, an orator and a spokesperson but he is largely remembered on Manitoulin for endorsing and signing the 1862 treaty. By that one act, performed in his mid 90s, he was transformed in the view of many of his people from a respected chief to a traitor.
Balancing Two Worlds is actually two compelling stories. Its a fascinating biography of a forgotten hero of the War of 1812 and a history of the Anishnabek people as they navigated contact with the strangers who came to their territories. This history is told in the unique voice of the Anishnabek people, who are rarely heard, though credited with saving the country during wars and saving the lives of explorers, traders and settlers in times of peace.
Recognizing that in order to understand Assiginack, its necessary to understand the Anishnabek people, Dr. King provides generous background information. He explains the origins, worldview, customs and relationships of the Anishnabek. This is history told from an entirely new and extremely compelling angle an Anishnabe speaking for the Anishnabek people.
- ISBN: 9780991999507