3-D Ojibwa?

I had a glimmer of light on my screenplay, The Life and Home of Gerbi Norberg, in 1996, when I piqued an agent’s interest by making reference in my cover letter to the assumed “teetering piles” of submissions on her desk. She liked the image and called. “Before you come down to chat, I would like you to address the title. The Life and Home of Gerbi Norberg doesn’t work, does it? You need something that will catch the audience’s attention.” I was most pliant; I arrived the next day with my newly christened Manitou island. manitou“What does that mean?”

“The Manitou are the Ojibwa spirits.”

“Spirits? That’s a start.” She scanned through the first pages. “Okay, and this. I’m not sure about these names. What’s this one? Asawsny?”

Asawasanay. He’s the spiritual leader.” I pointed out the name to follow. “And Pamequonaishcung is an elder. They’re Ojibwa.”Pamakon? Oh.” She turned the pages. “I’m not sure that’s going to work.”

“That’s what the story is about. It’s their spiritual return to the land.”

“Oh.” The meeting deteriorated from there, and there was no follow-up. I understood her point about making the story accessible, and changes of course could be made, but her approach was facile, like she expected an explosion of light. bibleI was supposed to amaze and astound, to make the sale, so that she could sell another. I balked. Eleven books later, I’m still struggling with that. (And, yes, I changed the title back to The Life and Home of Gerbi Norberg.)

6 thoughts on “3-D Ojibwa?

  1. Hi. I’m interested to know why you have chosen to use these two Ojibwe characters? Where did you get the photo of the pictographs? Were they re-created?
    I’m concerned that you are using the names of these people…they have family and descendants who would be interested to know that you are writing about them…

    • Hi Amy;

      Thanks for reading the piece. The names for the script are all derived from The Robinson Treaty – a political document that ceded control of Ojibwa lands to the Ontario government in the 1800’s. The script deals with the inherent political problems in this dismal historical episode.

  2. Thanks, but you didn’t answer my questions and I know the history. It’s not ceded territory. Do some more research and get your facts straight.

    • Hi Amy. The territories were, according to the Robinson Treaty, “surrendered, ceded, granted, and convey unto Her Majesty, her heirs and successors for ever.” I’d appreciate any relevant sources of further research, if you know of them.

      • I’m sorry but I cannot in good conscience give you further sources until you make a formal request to the family to write these pieces. It is respectful when using the name of their ancestor…It would only bring good things for you to establish connections with the families of the people you name. I have asked why you chose these two men specifically…and you have not responded. Were the men chosen at random? If you wish to discuss further, I am available via email: earthtalker@outlook.com

  3. Amy;
    It is regrettable that you have such a dubious impression of my project. The use of these names is entirely based upon a historical document in the public domain. There is no disrespect of anyone in the Ojibwa nation nor any of the ancestors. I would be very happy to get into contact with anyone that might be interested in this project, which remains in the development stages.

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