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Brenda Child, Illuminating the History of American Indian Women

Nov 7, 2017, 4:00 pm5:30 pm

Naynaabeak’s Fishing Net: Illuminating the History of American Indian Women

A public talk by Red Lake Ojibwe scholar Brenda J. Child

Tuesday November 7, 2017, 4:00pm-5:30pm

123 Global Scholars Hall, University of Oregon

1710 E. 15th Ave, Eugene, OR 97403

Award-winning Red Lake Ojibwe scholar Brenda Child will discuss key moments and characteristics of Ojibwe women’s history, providing useful context for understanding the UO Common Reading for 2017-2018, Louise Erdrich’s The Round House.

Brenda J. Child is Chair of American Studies and former Chair of the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. She received her PhD in History at the University of Iowa. Her first book, Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940 (University of Nebraska, 1998), won the North American Indian Prose Award. Child’s newest books are Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community (Penguin, 2012) and Indian Subjects: Hemispheric Perspectives on the History of Indigenous Education (with Brian Klopotek, SAR Press, 2014). A recent book, My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks: Ojibwe Family Life and Labor on the Reservation (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2014) combines a family memoir of her grandparents’ working lives, with a broader history of others of their generation. It won the National American Indian Book Award from Arizona State University and the Best Book in Midwestern History from the Midwestern History Association.

Child is a trustee of the National Museum of the American Indian-Smithsonian. She serves on the Repatriation Committee, the Executive Committee, and Chairs the Scholarship and Collections Committee. She is also a trustee of the Minnesota Historical Society. She was an original consultant to the exhibit, “Remembering Our Indian School Days” at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona and co-author of the book that accompanied it, Away From Home (Heard, 2000). The exhibit is credited with increasing attendance at the Heard Museum, especially Indian visitors, and she is now part of a team reinterpreting the exhibit. At the University of Minnesota, she was a recipient of the President’s Award for Outstanding Community Service and is also part of a research group that developed a major digital humanities project, the Ojibwe People’s Dictionary (, which launched as a website in 2012. Child was born on the Red Lake Ojibwe Reservation in northern Minnesota where she is a citizen and member of an eight-person committee engaging the community and writing a new constitution for the nation of 14,700. She resides with her family in Saint Paul and Bemidji, Minnesota.


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