Friday, November 2, 2007

The Ojibwa, Anishinaabe, or Chippewa (also Ojibwe, Ojibway, Chippeway, Aanishanabe, or Anishinabek) is the largest group of Native Americans-First Nations north of Mexico, including Métis. They are the third largest in the United States, surpassed only by Cherokee and Navajo. They are equally divided between the United States and Canada. Because they were formerly located mainly around Sault Ste. Marie, at the outlet of Lake Superior, the French referred to them as Saulteurs. Ojibwa who subsequently moved to the prairie provinces of Canada have retained the name Saulteaux. The major component group of the Anishinaabe, in the US they number over 100,000 living in an area stretching across the north from Michigan to Montana. Another 76,000, in 125 bands, live in Canada, stretching from western Québec to eastern British Columbia. They are known for their birch bark canoes, sacred birch bark scrolls, the use of cowrie shells, wild rice, copper points, and for the fact that they were the only Native Americans to come close to defeating the Dakota band of the Sioux. The Ojibwe Nation was the first to set the agenda for signing more detailed treaties with Canada's leaders before many settlers were allowed too far west. The Midewiwin Society was well respected as the keeper of detailed and complex scrolls of events, history, songs, maps, memories, stories, geometry, and mathematics.[1]


According to their tradition, and from recordings in birch bark scrolls, many more of them came from the eastern areas of North America, or Turtle Island, and from along the east coast. They traded widely across the Continent for thousands of years, and knew of the canoe routes west, and a land route to the west coast. According to the oral history, seven great miigis (radiant/iridescent) beings appeared to the peoples in the Waabanakiing (Land of the Dawn, i.e. Eastern Land) to teach the peoples of the mide way of life. However, the one of the seven great miigis beings was too spiritually powerful and killed the peoples in the Waabanakiing whenever the people were in its presence. The six great miigis beings remained to teach while the one returned into the ocean. The six great miigis beings then established doodem (clans) for the peoples in the east. Of these doodem, the five original Anishinaabe doodem were the Wawaazisii (Bullhead), Baswenaazhi (Echo-maker, i.e., Crane), Aan'aawenh (Pintail Duck), Nooke (Tender, i.e., Bear) and Moozoonsii (Little Moose), then these six miigis beings returned into the ocean as well. If the seventh miigis being stayed, it would have established the Thunderbird doodem. At a later time, one of these miigis beings appeared in a vision to relate a prophecy. The prophecy stated that if more of the Anishinaabeg did not move further west, they would not be able to keep their traditional ways alive because of the many new settlements and European immigrants that would arrive soon in the east. Their migration path would be symbolized by a series of smaller Turtle Islands, which was confirmed with miigis shells (i.e., cowry shells). After receiving assurance from the their "Allied Brothers" (i.e., Mi'kmaq) and "Father" (i.e., Abnaki) of their safety in having many more of the Anishinaabeg move inland, they advanced along the St. Lawrence River to the Ottawa River to Lake Nipissing, and then to the Great Lakes. First of these smaller Turtle Islands was Mooniyaa, which Mooniyaang (Montreal, Quebec) now stands. The "second stopping place" was in the vicinity of the Wayaanag-gakaabikaa (Concave Waterfalls, i.e. Niagara Falls). At their "third stopping place" near the present-day city of Detroit, Michigan, the Anishinaabeg divided into six divisions, of which the Ojibwa was one of these six. The first significant new Ojibwa culture-centre was their "fourth stopping place" on Manidoo Minising (Manitoulin Island). Their first new political-centre was referred as their "fifth stopping place", in their present country at Baawiting (Sault Ste. Marie). Continuing their westward expansion, the Ojibwa divided into the "northern branch" following the north-shore of Lake Superior, and "southern branch" following the south-shore of the same lake. In their expansion westward, the "northern branch" divided into a "westerly group" and a "southerly group". The "southern branch" and the "southerly group" of the "northern branch" came together at their "sixth stopping place" on Spirit Island ( 46°41′15″N, 092°11′21″W) located in the St. Louis River estuary of Duluth/Superior region where the people were directed by the miigis being in a vision to go to the "place where there are food (i.e. wild rice) upon the waters." Their second major settlement, referred as their "seventh stopping place", was at Shaugawaumikong (or Zhaagawaamikong, French, Chequamegon) on the southern shore of Lake Superior, near the present La Pointe near Bayfield, Wisconsin. The "westerly group" of the "northern branch" continued their westward expansion along the Rainy River, Red River of the North, and across the northern Great Plains until reaching the Pacific Northwest. Along their migration to the west they came across many miigis, or cowry shells, as told in the prophecy.

Their first historical mention occurs in the Jesuit Relation of 1640. Through their friendship with the French traders they were able to obtain guns and thus successfully end their hereditary wars with the Sioux and Foxes on their west and south, with the result that the Sioux were driven out from the Upper Mississippi region, and the Foxes forced down from northern Wisconsin and compelled to ally with the Sauk. By the end of the eighteenth century the Ojibwa were the nearly unchallenged owners of almost all of present-day Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and Minnesota, including most of the Red River area, together with the entire northern shores of Lakes Huron and Superior on the Canadian side and extending westward to the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota, where they became known as the Plains Ojibwa or Saulteaux.
The Ojibwa were part of a long term alliance with the Ottawa and Potawatomi First Nations, called the Council of Three Fires and which fought with the Iroquois Confederacy and the Sioux. The Ojibwa expanded eastward taking over the lands alongside the eastern shores of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. The Ojibwa allied themselves with the French in the French and Indian War, and with the British in the War of 1812.
In the USA, the government attempted to remove all the Ojibwa to Minnesota west of Mississippi River culminating in the Sandy Lake Tragedy and several hundred deaths. Through the efforts of Chief Buffalo and popular opinion against Ojibwa removal, the bands east of the Mississippi were allowed to return to permanent reservations on ceded territory. A few families were removed to Kansas as part of the Potawatomi removal.
In British North America, the cession of land by treaty or purchase was governed by the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and subsequently most of the land in Upper Canada was ceded to the Crown. Even with the Jay Treaty signed between the Crown and the United States, the then newly formed United States did not fully uphold the treaty, causing illegal immigration into Ojibwa and other Native American lands, which culminated in the Northwest War. Subsequently, much of the lands in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, parts of Illinois and Wisconsin, and northern Minnesota and North Dakota were ceded to the United States. However, provisions were made in many of the land cession treaties to allow for continued hunting, fishing and gathering of natural resources by the Ojibwe even after the land sales. In northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta the numbered treaties were signed. British Columbia had no signed treaties until the late 1900's, and most areas have no treaties yet. There are ongoing treaty land entitlements to settle and negotiate. The treaties are constantly being reinterpreted by the courts because many of them are vague and difficult to apply in modern times. However, the numbered treaties were some of the most detailed treaties signed for their time. The Ojibwa Nation set the agenda and negotiated the first numbered treaties before they would allow safe passage of many more settlers to the prairies.
Often, earlier treaties were known as "Peace and Friendship Treaties" to establish community bonds between the Ojibwa and the European settlers. These earlier treaties established the groundwork for cooperative resource sharing between the Ojibwa and the settlers. However, later treaties involving land cessions were seen as territorial advantages for both the United States and Canada, but the land cession terms were often not fully understood by the Ojibwa due to the cultural differences in understanding of the land. For the governments of the United States and the Canada, land was considered a commodity of value that could be freely bought, owned and sold. For the Ojibwa, land was considered a fully-shared resource, along with air, water and sunlight; concept of land sales or exclusive ownership of land was a foreign concept not known to the Ojibwa at the time of the treaty councils. Consequently, today in both Canada and the United States, legal arguments in treaty-rights and treaty interpretations often bring to light the differences in cultural understanding of these treaty terms in order to come to legal understanding of the treaty obligations.
See Treaty Timeline below - and see Individual Treaties with maps at [2].

Post-contact with Europeans
The Ojibwa live in groups (otherwise known as "bands"). Most Ojibwa, except for the Plains bands, lived a sedentary lifestyle, engaging in fishing, hunting, the farming of maize and squash, and the harvesting of Manoomin (wild rice). Their typical dwelling was the wiigiwaam (wigwam), built either as a waaginogaan (domed-lodge) or as a nasawa'ogaan (pointed-lodge), made of birch bark, juniper bark and willow saplings. They also developed a form of pictorial writing used in religious rites of the Midewiwin and recorded on birch bark scrolls and possibly on rock. The sacred scrolls are complicated with a lot of historical, geometrical, and mathematical knowledge communicated through the many complex pictures. The miigis shell (cowry shell) was also used in ceremonies, and this shell can only be found from far away coastal areas, indicating a vast trade network at some time across the continent. The use and trade of copper across the continent is also proof of a very large area of trading that took place thousands of years ago, as far back as the Hopewell culture. Certain types of rock used for spear and arrow heads were also traded over large distances. The use of petroforms, petroglyphs, and pictographs was common throughout their traditional territories. Petroforms and medicine wheels were a way to teach the important concepts of four directions, astronomical observations about the seasons, and as a memorizing tool for certain stories and beliefs.
The Ojibwe people and culture are alive and growing today. During the summer months, the people attend jiingotamog for the spiritual and niimi'idimaa for a social gathering (pow-wows or "pau waus") at various reservations in the Anishinaabe-Aki (Anishinaabe Country). Many people still follow the traditional ways of harvesting wild rice, picking berries, hunting, making medicines, and making maple sugar. Many of the Ojibwa take part in sun dance ceremonies across the continent. The sacred scrolls are also kept hidden away until those that are worthy and respect them are given permission to see them and then to interpret them properly.
The Ojibwa would bury their dead in a burial mound; many erect a jiibegamig or a "spirit-house" over each mound. Instead of a headstone with the deceased's name inscribed upon it, a traditional burial mound would typically have a wooden marker, inscribed with the deceased's doodem. Due to the distinct features of these burials, Ojibwa graves have been often looted by grave robbers. In the United States, many Ojibwa communities safe-guard their burial mounds through the enforcement of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
The Ojibwa viewed the world in two genders: animate and inanimate, rather than male and female. On the animate gender spectrum, a person could serve the society as a male-role or a female-role. From John Tanner to Anthropologist Hermann Baumann, they have documented Ojibwa peoples not falling into the European ideas of gender and its gender-roles, called egwakwe (or Anglicised to "agokwa"). Though these egwakweg may contribute to their community in whatever fashion that bring out their best character, sometimes these documented male-to-female transsexual Midew among the Ojibwa were more readily noticed by the non-Anishinaabe documenters. A well-known egwakwe in Minnesota history was Ozaawindib.
Several Ojibwa bands in the United States cooperate in the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, which manages their treaty hunting and fishing rights in the Lake Superior-Lake Michigan areas. The commission follows the directives of U.S. agencies to run several wilderness areas. See List of U.S. state and tribal wilderness areas. Some Minnesota Ojibwa tribal councils cooperate in the 1854 Authority, which manages their treaty hunting and fishing rights in the Arrowhead Region. In Michigan, the 1836 Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority manages the hunting, fishing and gathering rights about Sault Ste. Marie, and the waters of Lakes Michigan and Huron. In Canada, the Grand Council of Treaty #3 manages the Treaty 3 hunting and fishing rights around Lake of the Woods.


Main article: Anishinaabe clan system Kinship and Clan system

Main article: Anishinaabe traditional beliefsOjibwaOjibwa Spiritual beliefs
The legend of the Ojibwa "Windigo," in which tribesmen identify with a cannibalistic monster and prey on their families, is a story with many meanings, one of them points to the consequences of greed and the destruction that results from it. It is mentioned in the fiction of Thomas Pynchon. In his story Of Father's and Sons, Ernest Hemingway uses two Ojibway as secondary characters.
During the sixth season of The Sopranos, an old Ojibwe proverb is shown in prominence and quoted in at least three episodes.
In the comic strip For Better or For Worse, Elizabeth was a schoolteacher in Mtigwaki, a fictional Ojibwa village in Northern Ontario.
Novelist Louise Erdrich is Anishinabe and has written about characters from her culture in Tracks, Love Medicine, and The Bingo Queen. Medicine woman Keewaydinoquay Peschel has written books on ethnobotany and books for children. Winona LaDuke is a popular political and intellectual voice for the Anishinabe people.
Literary theorist and writer Gerald Vizenor has drawn extensively on Anishinabe philosophies of language.

In popular culture
Warren, in his History of the Ojibway People, records 10 major divisions of the Ojibwa in the United States, omitting the Ojibwa located in Michigan, western Minnesota and westward, and all of Canada; however, when if major historical bands located Michigan and Ontario are added, the count becomes 14:
These 10 major divisions and other major groups that Warren did not record developed into these Ojibwa Bands and First Nations of today. Bands are listed under their respective tribes where possible.

Aamjiwnaang First Nation
Batchewana First Nation of Ojibways [3]
Bay Mills Indian Community
Biinjitiwabik Zaaging Anishnabek First Nation
Cat Lake First Nation
Chapleau Ojibway First Nation
Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation
Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point
Chippewas of Rama Mnjikaning First Nation
The Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation
Chippewa of the Thames First Nation
Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway Territory
Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boys Indian Reservation
Curve Lake First Nation
Cutler First Nation
Dokis First Nation
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
Garden River First Nation
Grassy Narrows First Nation (Asabiinyashkosiwagong Nitam-Anishinaabeg)
Islands in the Trent Waters
Keeseekoowenin Ojibway First Nation
Kinistin First Nation
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug
Magnetawan First Nation
Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation
Lac La Croix First Nation
Lac Seul First Nation
Lake Nipigon Ojibway First Nation
Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe

  • Bad River Chippewa Band
    Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
    Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

    • L'Anse Band of Chippewa Indians
      Ontonagon Band of Chippewa Indians
      Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

      • Bois Brule River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
        Chippewa River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
        Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
        Removable St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
        Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
        Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa [4]
        Sokaogon Chippewa Community
        St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
        Minnesota Chippewa Tribe

        • Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Indians

          • Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Indians
            Muskrat Portage Band of Chippewa Indians
            Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
            Grand Portage Band of Chippewa
            Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

            • Cass Lake Band of Chippewa
              Lake Winnibigoshish Band of Chippewa
              Leech Lake Band of Pillagers
              Removable Lake Superior Bands of Chippewa of the Chippewa Reservation
              White Oak Point Band of Mississippi Chippewa
              Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

              • Mille Lacs Indians
                Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa
                Rice Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa
                St. Croix Band of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota

                • Kettle River Band of Chippewa Indians
                  Snake and Knife Rivers Band of Chippewa Indians
                  White Earth Band of Chippewa

                  • Gull Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa
                    Otter Tail Band of Pillagers
                    Rabbit Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa
                    Removable Mille Lacs Indians
                    Removable Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa
                    Rice Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa
                    Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation
                    Pembina Band of Chippewa Indians (Historical)
                    Pikangikum First Nation
                    Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians

                    • Lac des Bois Band of Chippewa Indians
                      Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation
                      Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation
                      Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council
                      Sagkeeng First Nation
                      Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians
                      Saulteau First Nation
                      Shawanaga First Nation
                      Southeast Tribal Council

                      • Berens River First Nation
                        Bloodvein First Nation
                        Brokenhead First Nation
                        Buffalo Point First Nation
                        Hollow Water First Nation
                        Black River First Nation
                        Little Grand Rapids First Nation
                        Pauingassi First Nation
                        Poplar River First Nation
                        Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
                        Wabasseemoong Independent Nation
                        Wabauskang First Nation
                        Wabun Tribal Council [5]

                        • Beaverhouse First Nation
                          Brunswick House First Nation
                          Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation
                          Matachewan First Nation
                          Mattagami First Nation
                          Wahgoshig First Nation
                          Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation
                          Wahnapitae First Nation
                          Washagamis Bay First Nation
                          Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation
                          Whitefish Bay First Nation
                          Whitefish Lake First Nation
                          Whitefish River First Nation
                          Whitesand First Nation
                          Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation
                          Windigo First Nations Council [6]

                          • Bearskin Lake First Nation
                            Cat Lake First Nation
                            Koocheching First Nation
                            North Caribou Lake First Nation
                            Sachigo Lake First Nation
                            Slate Falls First Nation
                            Whitewater Lake First Nation
                            Whitefish Lake First Nation
                            Yellow Quill First Nation Bands and First Nations of Ojibwe people

                            Other Tribes known by their Ojibwa/Ottawa Names

                            Ojibwa Treaties

                            La Grande Paix de Montréal (1701) Treaties with France

                            Treaty of Fort Niagara (1764)
                            Treaty of Fort Niagara (1781)
                            Indian Officers' Land Treaty (1783)
                            The Crawford Purchases (1783)
                            Between the Lakes Purchase (1784)
                            The McKee Purchase (1790)
                            Between the Lakes Purchase (1792)
                            Chenail Ecarte (Sombra Township) Purchase (1796)
                            London Township Purchase (1796)
                            Land for Joseph Brant (1797)
                            Penetanguishene Harbour (1798)
                            St. Joseph Island (1798)
                            Toronto Purchase (1805)
                            Head-of-the-Lake Purchase (1806)
                            Lake Simcoe Land (1815)
                            Lake Simcoe-Nottawasaga Purchase (1818)
                            Ajetance Purchase (1818)
                            Rice Lake Purchase (1818)
                            The Rideau Purchase (1819)
                            Long Woods Purchase (1822)
                            Huron Tract Purchase (1827)
                            Saugeen Tract Agreement (1836)
                            Manitoulin Agreement (1836)
                            The Robinson Treaties

                            • Ojibewa Indians Of Lake Superior (1850)
                              Ojibewa Indians Of Lake Huron (1850)
                              Manitoulin Island Treaty (1862) Treaties with Great Britain

                              Treaty of Fort McIntosh (1785)
                              Treaty of Fort Harmar (1789)
                              Treaty of Greenville (1795)
                              Fort Industry (1805)
                              Treaty of Detroit (1807)
                              Treaty of Brownstown (1808)
                              Treaty of Spring Wells (1815)
                              Treaty of St. Louis (1816) - Ottawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi
                              Treaty of Miami Rapids (1817)
                              St. Mary's Treaty (1818)
                              Treaty of Saginaw (1819)
                              Treaty of Saúlt Ste. Marie (1820)
                              Treaty of L'Arbre Croche and Michilimackinac (1820)
                              Treaty of Chicago (1821)
                              Treaty of Prairie du Chien (1825)
                              Treaty of Fond du Lac (1826)
                              Treaty of Butte des Morts (1827)
                              Treaty of Green Bay (1828)
                              Treaty of Prairie du Chien (1829)
                              Treaty of Chicago (1833)
                              Treaty of Washington (1836) - Ottawa & Chippewa
                              Treaty of Washington (1836) - Swan Creek & Black River Bands
                              Treaty of Detroit (1837)
                              Treaty of St. Peters (1837) - White Pine Treaty
                              Treaty of Flint River (1837)
                              Saganaw Treaties

                              • Treaty of Saganaw (1838)
                                Supplimental Treaty (1839)
                                Treaty of La Pointe (1842) - Copper Treaty
                                Treaty of Potawatomi Creek (1846)
                                Treaty of Fond du Lac (1847)
                                Treaty of Leech Lake (1847)
                                Treaty of La Pointe (1854)
                                Treaty of Washington (1855)
                                Treaty of Detroit (1855) - Ottawa & Chippewa
                                Treaty of Detroit (1855) - Sault Ste. Marie Band
                                Treaty of Detroit (1855) - Swan Creek & Black River Bands
                                Treaty of Sac and Fox Agency (1859)
                                Treaty of Washington (1863)
                                Treaty of Old Crossing (1863)
                                Treaty of Old Crossing (1864)
                                Treaty of Washington (1864)
                                Treaty of Isabella Reservation (1864)
                                Treaty of Washington (1866)
                                Treaty of Washington (1867) Treaties with Canada

                                Danziger, E.J., Jr. (1978). The Chippewa of Lake Superior. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
                                Densmore, F. (1979). Chippewa customs. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press. (Ursprünglich 1929 veröffentlicht)
                                Grim, J.A. (1983). The shaman: Patterns of religious healing among the Ojibway Indians. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
                                Gross, L.W. (2002). The comic vision of Anishinaabe culture and religion. American Indian Quarterly, 26, 436-459.
                                Johnston, B. (1976). Ojibway heritage. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart.
                                Nichols, J.D., & Nyholm, E. (1995). A concise dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
                                Vizenor, G. (1972). The everlasting sky: New voices from the people named the Chippewa. New York: Crowell-Collier Press.
                                Vizenor, G. (1981). Summer in the spring: Ojibwe lyric poems and tribal stories. Minneapolis: The Nodin Press.
                                Vizenor, G. (1984). The people named the Chippewa: Narrative histories. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
                                Wub-e-ke-niew. (1995). We have the right to exist: A translation of aboriginal indigenous thought. New York: Black Thistle Press.
                                Warren, William W. (1851). History of the Ojibway People.

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