The Trail of Nenaboozhoo and Other Creation Stories


The Trail of Nenaboozhoo is a remarkable and powerful collection of sacred Ojibwe creation stories that tell of a legendary past in which Nenaboozhoo, the creator spirit of Ojibwe legend, along with various beloved animal spirits, teach their wisdom. Transcribed from Isaac Murdoch’s oral storytelling, these stories are accompanied by beautiful illustrations by renowned artists Isaac Murdoch and Christi Belcourt. Many of the stories appear in both English and Anishinaabemowin. Moving, profound, and beautiful, this text is a vitally important contribution to Indigenous literature and to the preservation of Anishinaabe language and culture.

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From the Introduction by Isaac Murdoch:

“Everything we have can be accredited to the gifts from the spirit world. As we are now in abrupt climate change we can see the world-wide ecological collapse happening before our very eyes. How important was the birch bark canoe? The wigwam? How important were those gifts that were given to us? I think they were very important. They were more than important, they were sacred”.

“And so its with great hopes and encouragement that I offer these stories as a map to understand how to go back to the old ways. The old people always said we are going to go back to the old ways and I truly believe the time is now. We mustn’t wait”.

“Nenaboozhoo is a spirit that was brought to the Earth who is highly respected to this day by my people. They say when Nenaboozhoo was in spirit form he went through four levels of power to get to the earth. Through each power he went through, he went back to the center saying he didn’t want to leave. But the Great Mystery told him: Keep going, keep going, you’re needed somewhere!”.

“And he made his way through those four powers and ended up on Earth. His life here on earth was magical. All the rivers, all of the mountains all of the beautiful colours that we see, were created with Nenaboozhoo and his magical trail on Earth. They say one day ten men will go fasting and call Nenaboozhoo back and the world will be new again”.

“Nothing can stop the power that is here”.

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