Jim Northrup: Keeper of the Culture. Photo from Facebook
Published August 2, 2016
FOND DU LAC INDIAN RESERVATION – Jim Northrup, the award-winning American Indian author, columnist, poet and playwright, walked on Monday night after a courageous fight from cancer. Northrup, a tribal citizen of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, was 73.
For many years, Northrup wrote a column called “Fond du Lac Follie” that was published in several American Indian in Indian Country. The popularity of his columns caused him to publish some of them in books.
His books include “Walking the Rez Road,” “Rez Road Follies,” “Anishinaabe Syndicated: A View from the Rez,” “Dirty Copper” and “Rez Salute: the Real Healer Dealer.”
Northrup was a great believer in the preservation of Indigenous languages. He and his wife began an Ojibwe summer language camp on the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation in Minnesota.
He was a veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam. During his Vietnam tour he was exposed to Agent Orange that is believed to what caused the kidney cancer that contributed to his death. Earlier this year he told a Minnesota newspaper the cancer had spread to his lungs, lymph nodes and brain.
“Jim’s gift of humor has always connected him to the people of the Fond du Lac Band,” Larry Anderson, president of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College and a member of the band, told the News Tribune in March. “Jim was born to be an ogichida (warrior) and has faced tremendous evils in Vietnam, and many hardships in his life. … He is extremely intelligent, a man of wisdom, and has always been able to translate his Ojibwe knowledge, his Ojibwe heart and soul, to us who need his good words.”
Funeral arrangements were still pending on Tuesday morning.