The Maumee River does not begin.
One Saturday in June, I drove around the southern edge of Lake Michigan with Thomas Frank, an activist from East Chicago, Indiana, looking for oil. We had met a few weeks previous, at a conference put on by the Freshwater Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where Frank was on a panel about oil pipelines.
Two hundred feet below the surface of the Straits of Mackinac, oil is moving through the Great Lakes.
The story of the Miami language over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is one of fracture and dissolution. In this it is not unique among Native languages—or cultures. In fact, it’s difficult to talk about one without the other.
My great-grandfather was nearly 60 years old when he dug a basement in his backyard and built part of a house on top of it.