Hole in the Day

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Portrait of Po-Go-Nay-Ke-Shick, also known as Hole in the Day, St. Paul, Minnesota.

While Native Americans successfully resisted many of the changes colonization forced upon them, certain facets of traditional leadership changed drastically by the mid-19th century. Whereas leaders among the Anishinaabe and Dakota had previously been picked from specific clans among bands, intermarriage with Whites had started to erode the old kinship system dramatically. Leaders with a cult of personality, rather than a traditional legitimate claim to authority, began to emerge.

 Hole In The Day (Bagone-giizhig in Anishinaabemo.win) was one of these leaders. His flamboyancy and brinksmanship-like strategies made him appealing to many Anishinaabe during the confusing upheaval of the 1800s.  Not all Anishinaabe were pleased by Hole In The Day’s rise to power, however, and he was assassinated in 1868 by his own people.