Presenting Shinnob Jep and reflections on the Bah-Humbug past

By Jim Northrup
News From Indian Country Jan. 2010

Shinnob Jep, the play, will be performed at the Otter Creek Event Center at the Black Bear Casino. The date of the production will be January 16, 2010.

The Northrup Road Players will do the play once again. Matthew Northrup will reprise his role of Franklin Lake, Jackie Busker will once again be Tradish Ikwe, and Eddie LaFave will be John Johnson, Jr. I shall be Al.

In the past, the Northrup Road Players have performed the play at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, the Mille Lacs Reservation, the Lac du Flambeau Reservation, three locations within the Fond du Lac Reservation, and once at an Anishinaabe Language Conference in Duluth, Minnesota.

Members of the cast will be available after the play to talk with, and perhaps answer questions from the audience.


Question of the Month

Q.        Are you overweight?

A.        No, I am underheight.


As I have written here so many times before, I don’t celebrate Christmas. I am the best Bah-Humbug-er I know.

This year on TV I didn’t see the usual rampaging mobs; instead I saw lines of impatient people patiently waiting at three in the morning. I’m glad no one got trampled to death, Christmas would always be a bummer of a holiday for the relatives of the dead one crushed by the crowds.


The best picture of Christmas decorations I saw this year was sent by a friend of mine, it was a picture of his house. He stuffed some winter clothes with something, had it hanging from his roof gutter by the straw man’s gloves. A string of red lights outlined the roof until they came to the straw man hanging; they then ran to the ground. A ladder was also tipped half way over and wired in place.

The cops made him take it down because so many people were slowing down to look they almost crashed the car in front of them.

This is a long round-about way to say we went to the Rez Elders Christmas Party and Feast at the Otter Creek Event Center at the Black Bear Casino.

There must have been a couple hundred baskets donated by the Rez employees and the Reservation Business Committee. We were issued a claim ticket at the door, a real fake Elvis was crooning, and we got a great meal. Everyone attending was issued a bag of goodies which included Fond du Lac manoomin and Christmas cookies. Since this was an Elder’s Feast everyone got up to be the first in line. There was a nun praying in English at the beginning, but me, being me, would have preferred an Ojibwe prayer.

My sister Nita got a basket and right at the end I got a Christmas wreath. Great, what am I gonna do with that? Maybe use it to start a sugar bush fire at the other end of winter? Nah, I gave it to someone who does celebrate Christmas.

The Sawyer Community Christmas party featured a feast and a giveaway. This event was held near the winter solstice.

About 125 humans from the community gathered at the Sawyer Community center to say Boozhoo to their relatives and eat. The meal was prepared by cousin Alvie and her staff. The gifts were selected by cousin Brenda and her staff.

Once again we were issued a claim ticket and waited for our number to be called. 0925 was called near the beginning of the drawing; I looked at my number and yelled loudly, Bingo! I went to the front of the room, selected a card from the Christmas tree. I ripped open the card and opened it to read I had won an electric skillet that came all the way from China.

Son Matthew, daughter-in-law Jackie both won 50 bucks in gas or groceries at Nagaachiwanong Adawewigamig, the Rez store, son Aaron Ezigaa won a laundry basket full of cleaning supplies and towels, son Joseph also won fifty bucks at the Rez store. Daughter-in-law Sarah won a toolbox as did my sister Suzy. Her granddaughter Michelle won a hundred bucks in her drawing. Sister Jean won gas and groceries, my wife Patricia waited almost all the way to the end of the drawings to win 75 bucks in cash. We went home happy, smiling.

Wait a minute. Why am I telling you about Christmas stuff on the Rez in December? You won’t read this until January and it will already be old news.

Never mind.


One event I can tell you about that is happening in February. The Storytelling, feast, and silent auction will be held in Sawyer on the 20th. We are raising funds to pay for the Ojibwe language immersion camp held in June at the Kiwenz Campground in Sawyer.


            The views expressed in this column belong to the writer alone. They are not meant to represent this newspaper, the Fond du Lac Reservation or HumBug-ers anywhere. Comments and bingo questions can be sent to FdL Follies, PO Box 16, Sawyer, MN 55780-0016. email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. web site: