I had an interview with a journalist who is doing a piece about Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway spent some of his childhood years in Emmet County, during the 1920s. The guy asked what was going on with the Odawa during those years, and it was hard to give him a positive picture. Poverty was rampant, as was discrimination. The boarding schools were in full effect and come to think of it, this was a time when many of the remains I see in museum inventories came out of the ground. Looting of graves, both professional and amateur, was not only tolerated, it was encouraged. Local papers would advertise tourist trips to “authentic indian burial grounds” where one could find “relics” and “trophies”. The burials were authentic all right, but the relics and trophies were usually Odawa skulls and their burial items. This is what was going on during Hemingway’s time in northern Michigan.

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