Anishinaabe Information celebrates 50th anniversary and relaunch
In July 1971, the inaugural edition of the Anishinaabe News (called Nishnawbe News at the time) was published by The Organization of North American Indian Students. The four-page paper featured articles on protests and legal milestones for Native Americans and soon became one of the leading Native American newspapers in the country’s Waskiewicz of Anishinaabe News, Volume 9, Issue, according to Gabe’s article, The Beginning of Nish News October 1, 2013.
Waskiewicz said this little newspaper grew into a 12-page broadsheet publication in just four issues and distributed more than 8,000 copies worldwide. “In just two years, Nishnawbe News would grow to be the second largest Indian publication in North America and gain national recognition in publications like the New York Times and Time Magazine.”
Now, 50 years after its inception, the 50th anniversary digital edition of Anishinaabe News has been published by the Center for Native American Studies. This is not just an anniversary edition of the newspaper; It is also a rebirth.
“This year marks a milestone as it is the 50th year since the newspaper was founded,” said April Lindala, professor of Native American Studies and former director of the CNAS. “It wasn’t produced [or] Distribution for [all] fifty years, but I have met or personally known some of the parishioners from various tribal nations who contributed to the Anishinaabe News in the 1970s and 1980s. It is a deep source of pride for them. “
In the 50 years of its existence, Anishinaabe News has gone through many difficulties and challenges, mainly due to funding. In 1983, the original Nishnawbe News was cut due to lower funding for higher education. It was revived as Anishinaabe News in 2002 by Martin Reinhardt, then director of the Center for Native American Studies, and continued by Lindala, his successor.
Anishinaabe News was largely a success and continued to gain readership and recognition. However, in 2016 budget cuts and staff shortages posed a serious threat to the program.
“It became quite costly to produce, print, and distribute messages. The mailing list continued to grow, and the Center for Native American Studies had no one to raise funds for staffing, printing and shipping, ”said Lindala. “The biggest blow was when the center lost its editorial position due to budget cuts. At that point, I had to make the very difficult and unpopular decision to put the paper version of Anishinaabe News to bed. “
Although physical copies of the Anishinaabe News were no longer available, Lindala made sure the Aboriginal news continued to be broadcast on public radio 90, WNMU-FM, through a weekly program called Anishinaabe Radio News. ARN is very different from the paper version of the newspaper in terms of delivery and operations, but Lindala is glad the news and name lived on.
On December 1, 2020, CNAS hired a new director, Amber Morseau, who decided it was time to bring Anishinaabe News back to life for students, staff, and community members.
“Anishinaabe News has a long history with our center that has changed a little since it was first introduced 50 years ago,” said Morseau. “After visiting our former director, April Lindala, I saw the connection the center has with this tradition.”
Rather than focus on the news-intensive and curriculum-based aspect of the paper, Morseau decided to focus her energies on the people in the program.
“It was really fun getting to know my faculty through this project. Instead of focusing on course promotion and filling the publication with information about courses, I decided to focus on the people behind this great program, ”she said. “This newsletter offers insights from self-care to language games and shows who teaches our students.”
This latest edition of the Anishinaabe News was published in an online newsletter format and distributed to the NMU community via email. It can also be found on the NMU website, the CNAS Facebook page, and as a hard copy on the CNAS. You can find old editions of the paper in the NMU archive. Anishinaabe News is published quarterly based on the seasons.
Bazile Panek, junior with a major in Native American Studies and president of the Native American Student Association, was the focus of this issue of Anishinaabe News.
“My role in this first issue was to put the first student spotlight on a Native American major … and show what it’s like to be an Indigenous student at Northern Michigan University. I was very excited that Amber reached out to me to write this first piece in the first edition, ”said Panek. “I remembered my first year going into the archive room of the Center for Native American Studies and looking through the old Anishinaabe News papers that I thought were really cool. I wanted to see new issues again, so it’s very exciting for me to be included in the reinstall. “
While Panek was one of the students who helped revitalize the newspaper, he credits Morseau for the inspiration and continuation of the project.
“I think the new face and mind under CNAS has allowed us to recreate and have some new ideas and [Morseau] took the initiative to restart Anishinaabe News, ”Panek said. “It also helps that she is not a faculty member and teaches classes too [former director] April Lindala was. “
One of the reasons Anishinaabe News got back into a consistent publication is Morseau’s ability to make this newsletter a priority. In the past, the lack of student editors has put great pressure on the CNAS director to keep publishing. This was a problem because the director was also a faculty member who had teaching duties outside of his administrative work. However, Morseau is only the director of CNAS with no further obligations.
“I hope to be able to continue this tradition more consistently with this benefit. I think I have the coolest job in the world with this paper because I can exaggerate our people and learn about them in this fun and interactive way.” Said Morseau.
Both Morseau and Panek plan to expand the newsletter and focus on individual voices within the native community.
“Hopefully I can write more articles for inclusion in the newsletter, and I would also like to help other local students write the local students’ spotlights. I think that would be a great part to hear from some more voices from indigenous students, ”Panek said.
In addition to a student spotlight, the newsletter also includes a faculty spotlight on Shirley Brozzo, a seasonal recipe, language corner, Rez-Dog weather report, and an article on arts and self-care.
“I think the most important part of the Anishinaabe News is that it is indigenous-owned media,” Panek said. “We are taking over indigenous-owned media that privilege indigenous voices. With this narrative previously written by our oppressors, we can now create something that we can use to continue writing our stories and speak for ourselves for once instead of having voices erased. “