Voyageur is the French word for "traveler," but in the Great Lakes region during the seventeenth century it described those men who made their living trading furs and goods along water routes. Traveling by canoe, these voyageurs helped to establish north woods trading posts and settlements, opening up the West to future exploration. Young Jacques's father is such a voyageur. He works long hours in bitterly cold weather, absent from home for weeks at a time. As he awaits his father's return from a season of trading, Jacques dreams of the day he will hold the canoe paddle and join the ranks of voyageurs. Author Kathy-jo Wargin is known for her many stories celebrating Great Lakes lore and north woods history including the 2001 IRA Children's Choice Award winner, The Legend of the Loon. She lives with her family in Petoskey, Michigan. David Geister's body of work with Sleeping Bear Press continues to grow and includes The Legend of Minnesota, also written by Kathy-jo Wargin. He specializes in historic art and has a background in commercial art. David lives with his family in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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The American Indian culture consisted of specific customs and traditions that regulated everything from who would lead the tribes to who would marry within the tribes. They kept precise, detailed accounts of their tribal histories because they foresaw the importance of passing down their histories.