Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

'I'm glad it's home': A family heirloom links back to Bemidji's founding and Indigenous history

This story begins with an anxious exchange between an Ojibwe leader and a young settler during a period of uncertainty. Now the object central to that exchange can be found at the Beltrami County Historical Society.

Newell Carson recently traveled over 1,000 miles from his home in Kalispell, Mont., to donate a musket gifted to his family. It came from Shaynowishkung (He Who Rattles) who was also known as Chief Bemidji.

According to an expert gunsmith the musket was made around 1850, by a company in England. Its stock is fashioned out of what is presumed to be English walnut while the metal lock plate features an intricate engraving. After leaving England the gun likely traveled through Canada before making its way down to America. Shaynowishkung probably traded furs for the gun.


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