Phill Bellfy on U.P. Colony – The Story of Resource Exploitation in Upper Michigan

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Season 3: Episode 3–The UP Notable Book Club presents author Phil Bellfy speaking about his book U.P. Colony. The Crystal Falls Community District Library in partnership with the U.P. Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA) presents author events with winners of the UP Notable Book List. Make sure to like and subscribe so you don’t miss any future UP Notable Book Club speakers! For more information please visit the links below  and

PHIL BELLFY, PhD, is the Editor and Publisher of the Ziibi Press, Enrolled Member of the White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa, Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Indigenous Border Issues (CSIBI), and Professor Emeritus of American Indian Studies, Michigan State University. He has been involved in environmental issues, at the Tribal, international, national, state, and local levels for over 45 years. He is also a Lay Advocate, qualified and admitted to practice Tribal Law in the Courts of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Bellfy is also the author of Indians and Other Misnomers: A Cross-Reference Dictionary of the People, Persons, and Places of Native North America, Three Fires Unity: The Anishnaabeg of the Lake Huron Borderlands, and the editor of Honor the Earth: Indigenous Response to Environmental Degradation in the Great Lakes, 2nd Ed. You’ll be joined by readers from around the Upper Peninsula in a lively question-and-answer session with the author.

” Beginning in the 1600s, French, then British, and finally American John Jacob Astor, made millions shipping out furs without returning the tiniest fraction to the areas from which those furs came (and taking full advantage of the Native American population in the process). Once Michigan became a state, “downstate” interests dominated the Upper Peninsula. While many small companies began the copper and iron booms, they were eventually bought out (or died of themselves), creating monopolies controlled by out-of-area boards of directors who invested the money they “earned” in the U.P. in other operations elsewhere, then left when copper, iron, and timber played out, leaving the U.P. destitute. Bellfy demonstrates the same pattern in one city, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and shows how the lack of other industries brought to the area do develop its resources affected the process. The author also shows how the pattern of exploitation continues today in a 2021 updated conclusion to his original thesis”. Read the complete review by Deborah K. Frontiera at U.P. Book Review.

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