Ray Kiogima collection,   1979, 2006
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History

Biography:

Wm. Raymond Kiogima was born around 1933. He grew up in “Indiantown,” near Second Street in Harbor Springs (Mich.). His parents spoke Odawa [Ottawa] at home. Ray attended Holy Childhood Catholic Boarding School where he was required to speak English. When Ray was 13-years-old, he and his four brothers went to live with their grandmother who spoke Odawa and insisted they learn it. Ray fell in love with the language and what it represented culturally to his people. In 1992, Ray retired after working as a carpenter for 40 years. Currently, he is one of several members of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians who are fluent in Odawa. Ray served as a member of the Andrew J. Blackbird Museum; as Chair of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians Gaming Regulatory Commission; a member of the Harbor Area Regulatory Board of Resources, Inc.; and as a member of Middle Village Park Committee. He regularly leads prayers for tribal meetings. Ray was awarded the Harbor Springs Community Service Award. He has taught Odawa classes, and co-authored with Constance Cappel the book, Odawa language and legends: Andrew J. Blackbird and Raymond Kiogima. The book includes Blackbird's original 1887 book with Kiogima's Odawa dictionary, grammar, translations of taped legends, and his own stories.

Constance Cappel, like Kiogima, is a Michigan author and educator who lives in Harbor Springs. Her books include: Sweetgrass and Smoke; Hemingway in Michigan; Utopian colleges; a Stairwell in Lodz; a Union of Voices: accounts of the union institute and university; and the Odawa before and after smallpox bioterrorism.