Information about the Chippewa

The Ojibwa or Chippewa (also Ojibwe, Ojibway, Chippeway or Anishinabek) are the third-largest group of Native Americans/First Nations in the United States, surpassed only by Cherokee and Navajo. They are about equally divided between the United States and Canada. Because they formerly had their main residence at 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 Ojibwe language belong to the great Algonquian stock and are related to the Ottawa and Cree. The major component group of the Anishinaabe, 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. They are known for their canoes and wild rice, and for the fact that they were the only Indian nation to defeat the Sioux. [1]

The name "Chippewa" is an anglicized corruption of "Ojibwa". Although "Chippewa" is more common in the United States and "Ojibwa" predominates in Canada, both terms do exist in both countries.


According to their own tradition, they came from the east, advancing along the Great Lakes, and had their first settlement in their present country at Sault Ste. Marie and Shaugawaumikong (French, Chegoimegon) on the southern shore of Lake Superior, near the present Lapointe or Bayfield, Wisconsin. 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 Chippewa 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.

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 U.S., they were never removed as so many other tribes have been, but by successive treaty sales they are now restricted to reservations within this territory, with the exception of a few families living in Kansas.

In Canada, 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. See Treaty Timeline - Individual Treaties with maps at [2].


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) or the waaginogan, made of birch bark, juniper bark and willow saplings. The Ojibwe language belongs to the Algonquian linguistic group. They also developed a form of pictorial writing used in religious rites of the Midewiwin and recorded on birch bark scrolls.

The Ojibwe people and culture are alive and growing today. During the summer months, the people attend pow-wows or "pau waus" at various reservations in the US and reserves in Canada. Many people still follow the traditional ways of harvesting wild rice, picking berries, hunting and making maple sugar.

The legend of the Ojibwa "Windigo," in which tribesmen supposedly identify with a mythological cannabalistic monster and prey on their families is mentioned in the fiction of Thomas Pynchon. A native tribe that is never specifically named but is probably the Ojibwe features prominently in the writings of Ernest Hemingway

Several bands of Ojibwe cooperate in the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission which manages their treaty hunting and fishing rights. The commission cooperates with U.S. agencies to run several wilderness areas. See List of U.S. state and tribal wilderness areas.

Clan system

The Ojibwe people were divided into a number of doodem (clans) named for animal totems. This served as a system of government as well as a means of dividing labor. The five main totems were Crane, Catfish, Loon, Bear and Marten. The Crane totem was the most vocal among the Ojibwe, and the Bear was the largest -- so large, in fact, that it was sub-divided into body parts such as the head, the ribs and the feet.

There were at least twenty-one totems in all, recorded by William Whipple Warren: Crane, Catfish, Loon, Bear, Marten, Wolf, Reindeer, Merman, Pike, Lynx, Eagle, Rattlesnake, Moose, Black Duck, Sucker, Goose, Sturgeon, White Fish, Beaver, Gull, and Hawk. Some totems indicate non-Ojibwe origins, such as the Wolf for Dakota.

Bands and First Nations of Ojibwe people

Bands are listed under their respective tribes where possible
  • Chippewa chief Rocky Boy
  • Batchewana First Nation of Ojibways
  • Bay Mills Chippewa Community
  • Chapleau Ojibway First Nation
  • Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation
  • Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point
  • The Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation
  • Chippewa of the Thames First Nation
  • Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boys Indian Reservation
  • Curve Lake First Nation
  • Cutler First Nation
  • Islands in the Trent Waters
  • Keeseekoowenin Ojibway First Nation
  • Magnetawan First Nation
  • Lake Nipigon Ojibway First Nation
  • Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe
    • Bad River Chippewa Band
    • Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
      • L'Anse Band of Chippewa Indians
      • Lac Vieux Desert Chippewa Band
      • Ontonagon Band of Chippewa Indians
    • Lac Courte Oreilles Chippewa Band
      • Bois Brule River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
      • Lac Courte Oreilles Chippewa Band
      • Removable St. Croix Band of Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
    • Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
    • Red Cliff Chippewa Band
    • Sokaogon Chippewa Band
    • St. Croix Band of 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
      • Pembina Band of Chippewa Indians
      • Rabbit Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa
      • Removable Mille Lacs Indians
      • Removable Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa
      • Rice Lake Band of of Mississippi Chippewa
    • Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation
    • Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
      • Lac du Bois Band of Chippewa Indians
      • Pembina Band of Chippewa Indians
      • Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
    • Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation
    • Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation
    • Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council
    • Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians
    • Shawanaga First Nation
    • Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
    • Wabasseemoong Independent Nation
    • Wabauskang First Nation
      • Wabun Tribal Council
      • Beaverhouse First Nation
      • Brunswick House First Nation
      • Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation
      • Matachewan First Nation
      • Mattagami First Nation
      • Wahgoshig First Nation
    • Wabigoon First Nation
    • Wahnapitae First Nation
    • Washagamis Bay 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
      • 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
    • Wabigoon Lake Ojibway First Nation
    • Whitefish Lake First Nation
    Ojibwa Treaties
  • Treaties with Great Britain
    • 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 (1898)
    • 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)
      • Ojibewa Indians Of Lake Huron (1854)
        • Manitoulin Island Treaty (1862)
      • Treaties with the United States
        • 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 1816
        • Treaty of Miami Rapids (1817)
        • St. Mary's Treaty (1818)
        • Treaty of Saginaw (1819)
        • Treaty of SaĂșlt 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)
        • Treaty of Flint River (1837)
        • Saganaw Treaties
          • Treaty of Saganaw (1838)
          • Supplimental Treaty (1839)
        • Treaty of La Pointe (1842)
        • 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
        • Treaty No. 1 (1871)
        • Treaty No. 2 (1871)
        • Treaty No. 3 (1873)
        • Treaty No. 4 (1874)
        • Treaty No. 5 (1875)
        • Treaty No. 9 - James Bay Treaty (1905-1906)
        • Treaty 5, Adhesions (1908-1910)
        • The Williams Treaties (1923)
          • The Chippewa Indians
          • The Mississauga Indians
            • Treaty 9, Adhesions (1929-1930)

          • F. Densmore, Chippewa Customs (1929, repr. 1970)
          • H. Hickerson, The Chippewa and Their Neighbors (1970)
          • R. Landes, Ojibwa Sociology (1937, repr. 1969)
          • R. Landes, Ojibwa Woman (1938, repr. 1971)
          • F. Symington, The Canadian Indian (1969)

            The above includes excerpts from Wikipedia.org, the free encyclopedia:

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