Spearfishing: A Living History explores the tradition and practice of spearfishing through the eyes of Jason Bisonette, a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. Jason wants to give his son, Samuel, an Ojibwe education so that he too can become a provider for his family and community. As Jason explains, “The Ojibwe education is something we have to have to survive as Ojibwe.” But despite their importance for cultural survival, the pressures of assimilation threaten traditions like spearfishing. Even though decades of legal decisions affirm Ojibwe spearfishing rights, opposition continues. Jason is fighting to keep the tradition alive so his children can also experience “tasting that fish…having that living history.”

The Ways is a series of stories from Native communities around the central Great Lakes. This online educational resource explores connections between traditional ways and those of today. Additional resources including an interactive map, student learning questions, and an essay can be found at:
theways.org/story/spearfishing

Contributed by WPT Education