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Ojibwe (Annishinaabe, Chippewa)

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Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) aka Chippewa (less common: Ojibway, Ojibwa)

The Ojibwe or Chippewa (less common: Ojibway, Ojibwa) are an Anishinaabeg group of Indigenous Peoples on Turtle Island. Turtle Island is the name many Indigenous Peoples - including the Ojibwe - give to North America.

What is the source for the following paragraphs? There are no ref tags at all.

The People are called: Ojibweg, they refer to themselves in their original language as the Anishinaabe, or “the people.”

The word Anishinaabeg translates to "people from whence lowered." Another definition refers to "the good humans," :I am Human"meaning those who are on the right road or path given to them by the Creator Gitche Manitou, or Great Spirit. Basil Johnston, an Ojibwe historian, linguist, and author, wrote that the term's literal translation is "Beings Made Out of Nothing" or "Spontaneous Beings." Anishinaabe myths claim the people were created by divine breath.

The people traditionally speak the Ojibwe language, a branch of the Algonquian language family. They are part of the Council of Three Fires along with the Odawa and the Potawatomi.

About the Ojibwe Language: Ojibwe has been called by many names including Anishinaabemowin, Ojibwe, Ojibway, Ojibwa, Southwestern Chippewa, and Chippewa. It is a Central Algonquian language spoken by the Anishinaabe people throughout much of Canada from Ontario to Manitoba and US border states from Michigan to Montana. It is centered around the Great Lakes homeland of the Ojibwe people, and are one of the largest Indigenous ethnic groups north of the Rio Grande.

In traditional Ojibwa culture, an individual lived in a band and was a member of a clan. Most people from the same clan shared a common ancestor on their father's side of the family. Some clans were matrilineal, and children were affiliated with their mother's clan. People of the same clan claim a common totem ( dodem, do daim, or do dam ), the symbol of a living creature.

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The Minnesota Historical Society tells us:

The ancestors of the Ojibwe lived throughout the northeastern part of North America and along the Atlantic Coast. Due to a combination of prophecies and tribal warfare, around 1,500 years ago the Ojibwe people left their homes along the ocean and began a slow migration westward that lasted for many centuries.
Ojibwe oral history and archaeological records provide evidence that the Ojibwe moved slowly in small groups following the Great Lakes westward. By the time the French arrived in the Great Lakes area in the early 1600s, the Ojibwe were well established at Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding area. An Ojibwe prophecy that urged them to move west to "the land where food grows on water" was a clear reference to wild rice and served as a major incentive to migrate westward. Eventually some bands made their homes in the northern area of present-day Minnesota.
The most populous tribe in North America, the Ojibwe live in both the United States and Canada and occupy land around the entire Great Lakes, including in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario....The name "Ojibwe" may be drawn from either the puckered seam of the Ojibwe moccasin or the Ojibwe custom of writing on birch bark.[1]

Note: Today, in the United States, the spellings of Ojibway and Ojibwa are not as commonly used as Ojibwe. Checking the web sites of the seven Ojibwe sovereign nations in Minnesota, one easily finds the name Ojibwe - using the spelling Ojibwe - on at least six of them.

Note regarding the term Anishinaabe:[2]

While Anishinaabe is most commonly used to describe Ojibwe people, it can refer to other First Nations that also identify as Anishinaabe. These include, for example, Chippewa, Odawa, Potawatomi, Algonquin, Saulteaux, Nipissing and Mississauga First Nations, as well as some Oji-Cree and Métis. It is important to remember that Anishinaabe is not a synonym for Ojibwe.
Anishinaabe is the Ojibwe spelling of the term. Other First Nations have different spellings. For example, the Odawa tend to use Nishnaabe while the Potawatomi use Neshnabé.

Historical Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) aka Chippewa

William W. Warren's divisions

William W. Warren - a mixed-blood Ojibwe who learned Ojibwe oral history firsthand - wrote his History of the Ojibway People in 1852 (first published in 1883), and in it, listed divisions (bands) of Ojibwe in the U.S.:[3]

In Michigan: (p. 38)
Bow-e-ting [Bahweting] (Sault Ste Marie)
We-qua-dong (Ance-ke-we-naw)
Ga-ta-ge-te-gaun-ing (Vieux Desert)
In Wisconsin: (p. 38)
La Pointe
Wisconsin River
Chippeway [Chippewa] River
St. Croix River
Tributary streams and lakes
In Minnesota Territory: (p. 38)
Fond du Lac
Mille Lacs
Gull Lake
Sandy Lake
Rabbit Lake
Leech Lake [Pillagers]
Ottertail Lake [Pillagers]
Red Lake
Cass Lake
Lake Winnipeg
Rainy Lake
Portage Lake

Warren also described (pp38-40)::

  • Ke-che-gum-me-win-in-e-wug/Men of the Great Water (residing at the shore of Lake Superior)
  • Be-ton-uk-eeng-ain-ub-e-jig/Those who sit on the borders (residing in the midland country between Lake Superior and the Mississippi)
  • Mun-o-min-ik-a-sheenh-ug/Rice makers (residing on the Rice lakes of the St, Croix River)
  • Wah-suah-gun-e-win-in-e-wug/Men of the torches (residing on the head lakes of the Wisconsin River)
  • Ottowa Lake Men (residing at the headwaters of the Chippewa River)
  • Ke-che-se-be-win-in-e-wug/Great river men (residing on the banks of the Mississippi River)
  • Muk-me-dua-win-in-e-wug/Pillagers (Leech Lake and Ottertail Lake)
  • Sug-waun-dug-ah-win-in-e-wug/Men of the thick fir woods aka "Bois forts" (hardwoods) (residing on the north east coast of Lake Superior)
  • Pembina bands

Mississippi Band of Ojibwe

According to...oral history...the Mississippi [Band of Ojibwe]...were primarily of the southern branch of Ojibwe who spread from the "Fifth Stopping Place" of Baawiting (Sault Ste. Marie region) along Lake Superior's southern shores until arriving at the "Sixth Stopping Place" of the Saint Louis River. They continued westward across the Savanna Portage, and spread both northward and southward along the Mississippi River and its major tributaries.[4]
Before entering the treaty process with the United States, the Mississippi Chippewa consisted of the following sub-bands:
  • Cedar Lake Band
  • Crow Wing Band
  • Gull Lake Band
  • Mille Lacs Band
  • Pelican Lake Band
  • Pokegama Lake Band
  • Rabbit Lake Band
  • Rice Lake Band
  • Sandy Lake Band
  • Snake River Band
  • Swan River Band
  • Trout Lake Band
  • White Oak Point Band

St. Croix Band of Ojibwe

St. Croix Band was originally divided into the following sub-bands::[5]
  • Apple River Band
  • Clam River Band
  • Kettle River Band
  • Knife River Band
  • Rice River Band
  • Rush River Band
  • Snake River Band
  • Sunrise River Band
  • Tamarack River Band
  • Totogatic River Band
  • Wolf River Band
  • Wood River Band
  • Yellow River Band

Note: Wikipedia duplicates the Snake River Ojibwe as a sub-band of both the St. Croix Ojibwe and the Mississippi Ojibwe.

Today's Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) aka Chippewa

In Manitoba:

There are 376 reserves in Manitoba, held by 63 First Nations. In addition, Animakee Wa Zhing, a First Nation based in Ontario, has a reserve that straddles the Ontario-Manitoba border.[6]

Some of the communities in Manitoba include:

In Michigan:

In Minnesota:

All seven Anishinaabe reservations in Minnesota [today] were originally established by treaty and are considered separate and distinct nations by the United States government.[12]

Another organizational body in Minnesota - established in 1934 - is the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Its constitution indicates it is comprised of "the Chippewa Indians of the White Earth, Leech Lake, Fond du Lac, Bois Forte (Nett Lake), and Grand Portage Reservations and the Nonremoval Mille Lac Band of Chippewa Indians."[26]

In Montana

In North Dakota:[29]

In Ontario

There are 205 reserves in Ontario, held by 123 First Nations....There are also a handful of First Nations in Ontario who...do not have reserve land.[32]
The majority of reserves in Ontario are held by Anishinaabe communities, followed by Cree, Haudenosaunee, Delaware and Algonquin.[32]

Grand Council Treaty #3 is the traditional government of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3. Their 28 communities include:[33]

  • Animakee Wa Zhing 37 First Nation
  • Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation 
(Grassy Narrows)
  • Buffalo Point First Nation
  • Couchiching First Nation (Fort Frances)
  • Iskatewizaagegan 39 Independent First Nation
  • Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation
  • Lac La Croix First Nation
  • Lac Seul First Nation 
  • Migisi Sahgaigan First Nation 
(Eagle Lake)
  • Mishkosiminiziibiing First Nation 
(Big Grassy River)
  • Mitaanjigamiing First Nation
  • Naicatchewenin First Nation 
(Northwest Bay)
  • Naongashiing First Nation 
(Big Island)
  • Naotkamegwanning First Nation 
(Whitefish Bay)
  • Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation 
(Red Gut)
  • Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation 
  • Northwest Angle 33 First Nation
  • Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation 
  • Rainy River First Nations 
(Manitou Rapids)
  • Sagkeeng Anicinabe/Sagkeeng First Nation (in Manitoba)
  • Ojibway Nation of Saugeen (Savant Lake)
Ojibway Nation of Saugeen is located on the shores of Kashawagama Lake in Northwestern Ontario, approximately 20 kilometres northwest of Savant Lake.
  • Seine River First Nation
  • Shoal Lake 40 First Nation
  • Waabigonii Zaaga’igan
Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation

  • Wabaseemoong Independent Nations 
  • Wabauskang First Nation
  • Washagamis Bay First Nation
  • Wauzhushk Onigum Nation 
(Rat Portage)

Some of the additional communities in Ontario include:[34]

In 2001, the nation name changed from the Lake Nipigon Ojibway First Nation (English name) to Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek (Anishinaabek name)
Saugeen First Nation is located on Lake Huron at the base of the Bruce Peninsula, 2 miles northeast of Southampton.
Between 1925-1940, many families from English River re-located to Pagwa (nearby the present-day Constance Lake reserve) .... People from Fort Albany and Moose Factory also moved to Pagwa around that time....the new Band absorbed essentially the whole of the English River Band and also members of the Albany and Moose Factory Bands who lived nearby.

In Wisconsin:[35]


Sticker Use

Please only use sticker on profiles of people who clearly lived as Ojibwe and/or actually had/have Ojibwe ancestry.

To use this sticker:

Copy and paste the following template:
{{Native American Sticker|tribe=Ojibwe}} Please place the sticker template below the ==Biography== heading.

This will display on the profile:

... was Ojibwe.


  1. Minnesota Historical Society, Ojibwe People
  2. The Canadian Encyclopedia, Anishinaabe
  3. Warren, William W., History of the Ojibway People
  4. Wikipedia, Mississippi Ojibwe
  5. Wikipedia, St. Croix Chippewa
  6. The Canadian Encyclopedia, Reserves in Manitoba
  7. Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
  8. Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
  9. Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Wikipedia entry
  10. Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan
  11. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Michigan
  12. Minnesota Indian Affairs Council
  13. Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
  14. Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Wikipedia entry
  15. Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  16. Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Wikipedia entry
  17. Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  18. Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
  19. Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Wikipedia entry
  20. Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  21. Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Wikipedia entry.
  22. Red Lake Nation
  23. Red Lake Indian Reservation Wikipedia entry
  24. White Earth Nation
  25. White Earth Nation Wikipedia entry
  26. Revised Constitution and Bylaws of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
  27. The Chippewa Cree Tribe (www.chippewacree.org )
  28. Little Shell Chippewa Tribe
  29. North Dakota, Tribal Governments
  30. Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
  31. Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
  32. 32.0 32.1 The Canadian Encyclopedia, Reserves in Ontario
  33. Grand Council Treaty #3
  34. First Nation Communities in Ontario
  35. Tribal Nations of Wisconsin
  36. Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  37. Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians Wikipedia entry
  38. Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  39. Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  40. Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  41. Mole Lake (Sokaogon Chippewa Community) Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  42. Saulteaux Wikipedia entry

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Comments: 2

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Nice work on this page, S.D. Thanks.
posted by Jillaine Smith
I had already started to assemble information about Ojibwe/Anishinaabe, (in spring 2020) but it appears my work was overlooked. It appears Natalie moved my work here: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Native_American_Tribes_of_Minnesota. And then dismissed it. See: https://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Special:NetworkFeed&space=28931127. Edited comment: This page was updated with the work I started in spring 2020.
posted by [Living D]
edited by [Living D]

Categories: Ojibwe