• A fall day on Mt. Rose overlooking the historic depot at Grand Portage.

    Grand Portage

    National Monument Minnesota

Book Signing-Ancient Earth and the First Ancestors-A Cultural and Geological Journey

Ancient-Earth

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News Release Date: July 17, 2012
Contact: Chief of Resources Management, 218-475-0123

Time: Saturday, July 28, 2012 12-2 p.m.
Place: Heritage Center, Grand Portage National Monument, Grand Portage, Minnesota

Ancient Earth and the First Ancestors: A Cultural and Geological Journey by Ron Morton and Carl Gawboy, illustrated by Carl Gawboy. This book is the 2012 NEMBA (Northeastern Minnesota Book Award) winner in general nonfiction.

Crafted as a dialogue between an Ojibwe elder and a geologist, this book literally follows their real-time travel and conversation around Minnesota's major geological formations. Ancient Earth also charts a metaphorical journey through geological time, setting the stage for the appearance of Minnesota's aboriginal inhabitants. The form of extended dialogue could have been difficult to sustain. But the material is compelling and the discussion so full of information that the text moves between real-time, mythical-time, and geological-time with surprising ease.

This book is a sequel to Talking Rocks: Geology and 10,000 Years of Native American Tradition in the Lake Superior Region also by Ron and Carl published in 2000 and still in print.

Ron Morton is professor of geological sciences at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD), where he teaches economic geology, volcanology, and other earth science courses. An avid advocate of geology for lay people, Ron enjoys translating technical scientific concepts into everyday language and experience.

Ojibwe by heritage, Carl Gawboy is an accomplished artist and retired professor of American Indian Studies at the College of St. Scholastica and an alumnus of UMD. Carl has a lifelong interest in exploring the connections between ancient pictographs and traditional Native American understandings of astronomy and the constellations. Carl's mural Rendezvous Gitchi Onigaming graces a large wall of the Heritage Center entryway.

Did You Know?

A beaver pelt and felt hat at Grand Portage National Monument.

The under-fur of the beaver have microscopic barbs which make excellent quality felt for hats of the 16th-18th centuries. This hidden property was the reason why the beaver was the "standard" pelt for the fur trade.