Ask a Bookseller: part memoir, part Ojibwe cultural toolbox

Gwen Danfelt of Drury Lane Books in Grand Marais, Minn. recommends reading “The Cultural Toolbox: Traditional Ojibwe Living in the Modern World” by Anton Treuer. The book was selected as a community read in Cook County in November.

Ojibwe man on book cover
"The Cultural Toolbook: Traditional Ojibwe Living in the Modern World" by Anton Treuer.
Minnesota Historical Society Press

Treuer is a Professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University, as well as a prolific author and speaker. This, his latest book, is partly a memoir, filled with stories and photos of Treuer’s journey to connect with his Ojibwe culture; and partly, as the title suggests, it’s a cultural toolbox. The book is organized by the four seasons, beginning with the new life of spring and progressing through to winter and elderhood. Its foremost audience is Ojibwe people hungering to connect with their history, language, and heritage.

Danfelt calls it “an enjoyable read…full of fascinating information.” As a non-native who grew up on the North Shore, Danfelt says she picked up the book because she wanted to get to know her Ojibwe neighbors better.

"I think it is just something that anyone could pick up and appreciate," she says.

She looks forward to the conversations that arise as a community read next month.

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