AIIS is thrilled to celebrate affiliate faculty member, Dr. Blaire Morseau, for publishing – through the Michigan State University Press – an edited collection titled As Sacred to Us: Simon Pokagon’s Birch Bark Stories in their Contexts. 

Dr. Morseau shared a bit about the essays she highlights in her book: Originally printed in 1893 and 1901, Simon Pokagon’s essays were pressed on thinly peeled and elegantly bound birch bark. In this edition, these rare booklets housed in the Pokagon Band tribal archives are framed with new essays that set the stories in cultural, linguistic, historical, and even geological context. Experts in Native literary traditions, history, Algonquian languages, the Michigan landscape, and materials conservation illuminate the thousands of years of Indigenous knowledge that Pokagon elevated in his stories.

You can purchase Dr. Morseau’s book here: . Additionally, Dr. Morseau will be giving a virtual talk about the book on November 17 at 10am with the Clements Library. You can register here: .

Blaire Morseau is a citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Michigan State University where she also teaches in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. Before becoming a professor, she worked as her tribe’s first full-time archivist where she launched an online collections and dictionary website called Wiwkwébthëgen (we-oh-KWEB-juh-gun) using traditional Potawatomi cultural protocols of access and traditional knowledge labels. Dr. Morseau consults on various exhibitions and collaborative programming for archives, libraries, and museums around the country including the Field Museum of Natural History, The Newberry Library, and The Indiana University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Her research interests are in Indigenous science fiction and futurisms, traditional cultural and ecological knowledge, digital heritage, and Native counter-mapping. She is currently working on a new book project tentatively titled, Mapping Neshnabé Futures, under a contract with the University of Arizona Press.