The University of Wisconsin Press

Native American Studies / Biography / History / Ethnology


Just Too Much of an Indian
Bill Baker, Stalwart in a Fading Culture
Thomas Vennum

"It is a wonderful thing that [Vennum is] doing for Bill Baker. . . . If anyone should know the most about the overall aspects of this life, [he is] the one."—Gene Begay, Nee-gah-nee-gah-boh (Spiritual Leader), Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe

"In this rare and insightful book, Thomas Vennum captures the essence of one Ojibwe life. Through memories and letters, Bill Baker comes alive and teaches us what we have almost forgotten: the meaning and practice of Ojibwe tradition. The story unfolds in the context of many of the events and movements relevant to Indians in the twentieth century: the boarding school disasters, allotment, the World Wars, AIM, the takeover of the Winter Dam, the spear-fishing controversy, the reality of tribal factions. Woven throughout are essential native practices: wild ricing, sharing of the fruits of a hunt, a naming ceremony, powwows. Especially poignant is the portrayal of reservation life, the realities of which many Americans cannot or never will see."—Theresa Schenck (Blackfeet Nation and Ojibwe), American Indian Studies and Folklore Programs, University of Wisconsin—Madison, biographer of Ojibwe historian William W. Warren

Thomas Vennum is senior ethnomusicologist emeritus of the Office of Folklife Programs, Smithsonian Institution. His previous works include The Ojibwe Dance Drum, Wild Rice and the Ojibway People, American Indian Lacrosse, and Lacrosse Legends of the First Americans. He lives summers on Madeline Island, Wisconsin, and winters in Tucson, Arizona.

This is the logo for the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures. The words are in red, superimposed on a design of snowshoes.

Distributed for the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures

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The cover of Vennum's book is based on a photo of Bill Baker, in black and white.

September 2009

LC: 2008932765 E
406 pp.   6 x 9
30 b/w illus., 1 drawing

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Paper $24.95 t
ISBN 978-1-934690-05-5
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