Benjamin Armstrong: Early Life Among the Indians

On Sale Now $14.99

First published in 1892, Early Life Among the Indians is the biography of Benjamin Armstrong, who in 1840 took up his residence in northern Wisconsin. Having learned the Ojibwe language, he became a well-known interpreter. He was known for respecting and documenting the traditional life and culture of the Anishinaabe and became the adopted son of Ke-Che-Waish-Ke, Chief Buffalo, the most respected leader of the Lake Superior bands. In 1852 Armstrong accompanied Great Buffalo and other Ojibwe leaders to Washington, D.C., to plead against the proposed forced relocation of the Ojibwe west of the Mississippi. A meeting between the chiefs and President Millard Fillmore was a success and brought a reversal of the removal order of 1849.

Armstrong did more to humanize Native Americans than nearly any white person of his day. In the end, he writes: “… the unbiased judgment of the future will be that the Indians were found good and were made bad by white people, and that the condition of things has not been one whit improved by white associates, but, on the contrary, has been degraded … [the Indians] saw that the example of the white people was far from the teachings of the missionaries, far from the truth and the pretensions of the traders, and far from justice and right.”

Through his respect and love for the tribes and his connections with Chief Buffalo’s family, Armstrong was granted access to leaders of all the Ojibwe bands. Early Life Among the Indians contains his recollections of battles with Sioux adversaries, memoirs of the Sandy Lake tragedy, accounts of the crucial treaty councils that defined modern Ojibwe life, the arrival of miners and loggers in the Ojibwe homelands, and much more about northern Wisconsin in the 19th century.

This edition also contains a special message from the 7th generation of Chief Buffalo, his great-granddaughter Sandy Gokee, Anishinaabe kwe, mother, a daughter, a student, a teacher, and water protector living on the shores of Lake Superior.

Made possible by a generous grant from the La Pointe Center.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to support the Madeline Island Jingle Dress Dancer Project.


United in Defense of the Water Endorses Joe M. Rose for Ashland County Board, District 12

Mr. Rose is the incumbent and is currently serving on four committees of the Ashland County Board: Joint Impact Committee on Mining, Land and Water Conservation Committee, Zoning, and Long Range Planning Committee.

District 12 in Ashland County is unique, as it serves both Madeline Island and the Town of Sanborn, Ward 1, on the Bad River Reservation. Whoever represents this district is the voice of both island residents and the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa living in Sanborn.

In our estimation, Mr. Rose is the best qualified to represent these areas for several reasons:

Jan. 26, 2012 Joe Rose at the WI State Capitol to testify against the mining bill. Photo: Rebecca Kemble

Jan. 26, 2012 Joe Rose at the WI State Capitol to testify against the mining bill. Photo: Rebecca Kemble

Mr. Rose grew up on the Bad River Reservation and has served on the Ashland County Board in the past. His experience with both tribal and non-tribal governments, and his love of the water and resources instilled in him growing up on Lake Superior as a tribal member have given him the unique ability to represent native and non-native alike.

Mr. Rose has ties to Madeline Island that go back 500 years. 

Mr. Rose has consistently fought to protect the resources. Unlike his opponent, Mike Stark, a Scott Walker supporter and Republican who backed Gogebic Taconite and their attempts to take over the Penokee Hills with a 22-mile open-pit mountaintop removal iron ore mine, Mr. Rose has stood up his entire life to fight against such atrocities. In the first video below, Mr. Rose outlines his consistent stand for 35 years against a multitude of threats to the safety and health of the area.

Mr. Stark has since admitted his mistake in aggressively pushing through the “Responsible Mining” resolution while serving on the County Board in 2011 without consulting his constituents. UDW feels, however, that any future misjudgments of this nature could be devastating to the health and well-being of District 12.

Reicks Concentrated Animal Feed Operation. This is a huge disaster looming in Ashland County. A 26,000 hog CAFO is on the verge of being permitted in Eileen that would destroy the water of our region. Mr. Rose not only understands this imminent danger and explains it clearly in the video below, but is already working hard on several fronts to prevent the destruction of Lake Superior that would inevitably happen if this CAFO is allowed to move forward. He is a strong supporter of local control and understands the power of the Treaties.


February 2014, standing united in defense of the water, with Edith Leoso at a press conference in the Penokees. Photo: Rebecca Kemble

Mr. Rose is Chairman of the Anishinaabeg Environmental Protection Association. This sub-committee was formed by the Bad River Tribal Council, which works to protect the land and water for all. With Mr. Rose we have two governments standing up for us.

Mr. Rose has working relationships with all of the county’s State legislators, including Sen. Janet Bewley, Assemblywoman Beth Meyers, former Senator Bob Jauch, and State tribal leaders. He also is able to bring the Ashland County Board together and has used these relationships to broker support for important issues. Board Chair Pete Russo has said his presence on the Board is “invaluable” and has strong support from the Native American community.

Mr. Rose was Professor of Native American Studies for many years at Northland College. He has an excellent track record as an effective educator.

For these reasons and many more, United in Defense of the Water feels he is the best candidate to represent District 12.

Be sure you are registered to vote:

Information on the proper ID:

For more information, contact:

The League of Women Voters for Ashland and Bayfield Counties

Town of Sanborn

Town of La Pointe

Joe M. Rose speaking at the candidates forum, March 27, 2016 at La Pointe Town Hall.