Duluth, MN — Dr. Erik Redix, an assistant professor in American Indian Studies, has been awarded a University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, a two-year award designed to advance the careers of exceptional junior faculty.
Redix’s research examines the creation of the Chippewa Flowage, a 23,000-acre body of water in the Hayward area of northwest Wisconsin. The flowage was created when the Winter Dam was built in 1923, despite the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe repeatedly voting against its creation. The dam’s floodwaters wiped out the community of Bakweyawaa, its cemeteries, roads, and wild rice beds and directly resulted in decades of poverty for the Ojibwe.
“The Chippewa Flowage had a devastating impact on the community,” explains Redix. “There are many in the community who are eager to have this story more well known and with this book my goal is to help both Natives and non-Natives better understand the sometimes difficult history of our region."
This will be Redix’s second book. His first, “The Murder of Joe White,” was published last fall and recounted the 1894 murder of an Ojibwe chief by Wisconsin state game wardens. Redix says the McKnight Land-Grant Professorship removes obstacles for writing his second book, as it includes a research grant for two years and a research leave. “This makes it so much easier to publish a second book. I have the time and resources to make this possible.”
Redix became a member of UMD’s faculty after earning his doctorate in history at the University of Minnesota in 2012. He teaches first year Ojibwe language, Ojibwe culture, and Native American history and hosts Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa on KUMD.