The Murder of Joe White cover
The Murder of Joe White
Ojibwe Leadership and Colonialism in Wisconsin
In 1894 Wisconsin game wardens Horace Martin and Josiah Hicks were dispatched to arrest Joe White, an Ojibwe ogimaa (chief), for hunting deer out of season and off-reservation. Martin and Hicks found White and made an effort to arrest him. When White showed reluctance to go with the wardens, they started beating him; he attempted to flee, and the wardens shot him in the back, fatally wounding him. Both Martin and Hicks were charged with manslaughter in local county court, and they were tried by an all-white jury. A gripping historical study, The Murder of Joe White contextualizes this event within decades of struggle of White’s community at Rice Lake to resist removal to the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation, created in 1854 at the Treaty of La Pointe. While many studies portray American colonialism as defined by federal policy, The Murder of Joe White seeks a much broader understanding of colonialism, including the complex role of state and local governments as well as corporations. All of these facets of American colonialism shaped the events that led to the death of Joe White and the struggle of the Ojibwe to resist removal to the reservation.
Publication Date: September 1st, 2014
294 pages| 6 in x 9 in
Early Praise

“A poignant tale of sacrifice, betrayal, and redemption, The Murder of Joe White challenges us all to reexamine America’s treatment of native people and our role in shaping the environment and human landscape in years to come.”
Anton Treuer, author of Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask and The Assassination of Hole in the Day
The Murder of Joe White presents a compelling history of the Ojibwe peoples as they fight to preserve their sovereignty and their place in the social as political landscape of modern North America. This is a book that forces you to think deeply about the ways in which the history of the United States is inseparable from the histories of the Native peoples of North America.”
Michael Witgen, Director of Native Studies, Associate Professor, Department of History and the Department of American Culture, The University of Michigan
“This is a great book! I was first drawn to it strictly as a history of my grandfathers Nena’aangabi and Ira Isham, however, the book was so much more. Sovereignty, treaty history, sociology, and even climate issues are integrally intertwined with the biographies of the leaders of the times. I was also struck by how similar the issues I deal with as a tribal leader are to the issues my grandfathers faced seven generations before.”
Michael “Mic” Isham Jr., Chairman of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Chairman of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission Board of Commissioners

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