The Assassination of Hole in the Day

The Assassination of Hole in the Day

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by Anton Treuer
     
 

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On June 27, 1868, Hole in the Day (Bagonegiizhig) the Younger left Crow Wing, Minnesota, for Washington, DC, to fight the planned removal of the Mississippi Ojibwe to a reservation at White Earth. Several miles from his home, the self-styled leader of all the Ojibwe was stopped by at least twelve Ojibwe men and fatally shot.

Hole in the Day’s death was

Overview

On June 27, 1868, Hole in the Day (Bagonegiizhig) the Younger left Crow Wing, Minnesota, for Washington, DC, to fight the planned removal of the Mississippi Ojibwe to a reservation at White Earth. Several miles from his home, the self-styled leader of all the Ojibwe was stopped by at least twelve Ojibwe men and fatally shot.

Hole in the Day’s death was national news, and rumors of its cause were many: personal jealousy, retribution for his claiming to be head chief of the Ojibwe, retaliation for the attacks he fomented in 1862, or retribution for his attempts to keep mixed-blood Ojibwe off the White Earth Reservation. Still later, investigators found evidence of a more disturbing plot involving some of his closest colleagues: the business elite at Crow Wing.

While most historians concentrate on the Ojibwe relationship with whites to explain this story, Anton Treuer focuses on interactions with other tribes, the role of Ojibwe culture and tradition, and interviews with more than fifty elders to further explain the events leading up to the death of Hole in the Day. The Assassination of Hole in the Day is not only the biography of a powerful leader but an extraordinarily insightful analysis of a pivotal time in the history of the Ojibwe people.

“ An essential study of nineteenth-century Ojibwe leadership and an important contribution to the field of American Indian Studies by an author of extraordinary knowledge and talent. Treuer’s work is infused with a powerful command over
Ojibwe culture and linguistics.”

—Ned Blackhawk, author of Violence Over the Land: Indians and Empires in the
Early American West

“The Assassination of Hole in the Day is a masterful history, and more. Anton Treuer illuminates the character of a controversial and charismatic Ojibwe leader from within Ojibwe culture, and tells a powerful story of loss that reverberates in the present.”
—Louise Erdrich

“This is more than a murder mystery. It provides insights into the evolution of clan structure, tribal governance and relations with the Dakota and other tribes since the time a century and a half ago when white pressure, the declining fur trade and other factors led to the cession of great tracts of land and the people’s removal to reservations.”
—Star Tribune

“This highly recommended work provides insights into the challenges faced by native peoples during an era when they were under intense pressure by the federal government to move to reservations.”
—Library Journal

“Treuer explores the life and death of this brash young leader, and delves into tribal history and the intricate machinations of Ojibwa politics.”
—Booklist

Anton Treuer, professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University, is the author of Ojibwe in Minnesota and several books on the Ojibwe language. He is also the editor of Oshkaabewis Native Journal, the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Through the prism of the 1868 assassination of tribal leader Hole in the Day the Younger, also known as Bagone-giizhig, Treuer (Ojibwe, Bemidji State Univ.; Ojibwe in Minnesota) illuminates the political history of Hole in the Day's people during the 19th century in America. Beginning with the chieftainship of Bagone-giizhig the Elder, the author details the evolution of Ojibwe diplomacy with other native groups and the federal government. He carefully details these relationships to contextualize Ojibwe intratribal rivalries to demonstrate how their traditional clan- and heredity-based political structure quickly eroded without a stable political system to replace it. The resulting leadership vacuum allowed the rise of an elite mixed-blood business class who acted in their own interests. Their conflicts with Hole in the Day the Younger led to their hiring full-blooded Ojibwes to kill him in order to hide their involvement. VERDICT This highly recommended work provides insights into the challenges faced by native peoples during an era when they were under intense pressure by the federal government to move to reservations. It is a complex story presented in language that is accessible to lay readers as well as specialists.—John Burch, Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780873517799
Publisher:
Minnesota Historical Society Press
Publication date:
10/15/2010
Edition description:
1
Pages:
295
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Anton Treuer, professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University, is the author of Ojibwe in Minnesota and several books on the Ojibwe language. He is also the editor of Oshkaabewis Native Journal, the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language.

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