This article compares the trickster stories of Anishinaabeg (Ojibwes) and Ininiw (Cree) people, specifically the Swampy Cree or Omushkegowak, in northern Canada. Focusing on one storyteller from each culture—Omushkego Louis Bird from the west coast of James Bay and Anishinaabe William Berens from the east coast of Lake Winnipeg—the article demonstrates that the long-term practice of telling sacred stories taught Indigenous peoples how to survive and thrive in their harsh environments. Although Omushkego stories highlight the importance of individual resourcefulness for survival, stories from both cultures emphasize that people should live together in communities to achieve the best life. The article also emphasizes the importance of appreciating local distinctiveness, listening carefully to Indigenous voices, and seeking guidance from Indigenous people.
Shaping Indigenous Girlhood Studies
Kirsten Lindquist, Kari-dawn Wuttunee and Sarah Flicker
Tân’si and welcome to this Special Section of Girlhood Studies on Indigenous Girls in which we present work written or created by and/or about the lives of young Indigenous women and girls across Turtle Island (as North America is known to many Anishinaabe/Ojibwe people), and from Mexico and South Africa. As guest editors, we are delighted to share this culmination of a very long process. Although all three of us were new to the editorial role, we were excited about creating the opportunity for contributors to discuss new theoretical and methodological perspectives on the very important topic of Indigenous girlhood. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first endeavor of its kind. Right from the start, we wanted to create and honor a process that put Indigenous girls and young women at the centre of this process. This meant that things took somewhat longer than anticipated, and we truly appreciate the patience of all concerned. We thank Claudia Mitchell for this great opportunity and we would like to acknowledge that without the invaluable assistance, reassurance, cheerleading, support, and careful editorial work of Ann Smith, this issue would probably never have materialized.