Book Review of People of the Three Fires Essay

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Book Review of People of the Three Fires

The book, People of the Three Fires, is written by three different people each describing a tribe in detail.The book is very well written and relatively easy to understand. It is informative and was written to be used as a teaching tool for schools. The book discusses the relationship between the groups that lived in Michigan and surrounding areas.

James M. McClurken writes the first section, which deals with the Ottawa people. McClurken tells about the Ottawa peoples’ relationship with the environment they lived in and how they adapted to change when contacted by Europeans. One thing I found interesting about the Ottawa is their beliefs. The Ottawa believed in respect for the
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This worries me somewhat because I think the house in which we live was part of the land given to the Ottawa in the Treaty of 1855. While I feel bad that the Ottawa were cheated out of their land, I don’t think I should have to give up my house to right a 150 year-old wrong.

Dr. James A. Clifton wrote the Pottawatomi section of People of the Three Fires. Clifton discusses the same aspects of Potawatomi life as McClurken for the Ottawa. An interesting group of people the Potawatomi held a certain advantage as they moved south from northern Michigan. Because they were neighbors of the Chippewa and Ottawa they had the knowledge that tribes further south did not have. The Potawatomi knew how to build birch bark canoes so trade was far easier for them than for the Sauk or Fox. They thrived on the “Mexican Trinity” of beans corn and squash. They were also accomplished hunters and fishermen. In the beginning they were farmers but they soon became interested in the herds of buffalo that roamed the plains just south of them. Then no meal was complete without some red meat. A description that I took to heart was that on page 50 explaining the balancing act preformed by the leaders of the groups and the French. I can just imagine the stress that the Wkama went through trying to please everyone at once. During the French and Indian War the Potawatomi made a great capture of many English horses. Trading
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