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Anishinaabe

Anishinaabe

Overview

Anishinaabe or Anishinabe—or more properly Anishinaabeg or Anishinabek, which is the plural form of the word—is the autonym often used by the Odawa
Ottawa (tribe)
The Odawa or Ottawa, said to mean "traders," are a Native American and First Nations people. They are one of the Anishinaabeg, related to but distinct from the Ojibwe nation. Their original homelands are located on Manitoulin Island, near the northern shores of Lake Huron, on the Bruce Peninsula in...

, Ojibwe
Ojibwa
The Ojibwe or Chippewa are among the largest groups of Native Americans–First Nations north of Mexico. They are divided between Canada and the United States. In Canada, they are the third-largest population among First Nations, surpassed only by Cree and Inuit...

, and Algonquin peoples. They all speak closely related Anishinaabemowin/Anishinaabe languages, of the Algonquian language family
Algonquian languages
The Algonquian languages also Algonkian) are a subfamily of Native American languages which includes most of the languages in the Algic language family. The name of the Algonquian language family is distinguished from the orthographically similar Algonquin dialect of the Ojibwe language, which is a...

.

The meaning of Anishnaabeg is "First" or "Original-Peoples". Another definition - possibly reflecting a traditionalist's viewpoint with a certain moral dimension - refers to "the good humans", or good people, meaning those who are on the right road/path given to them by the Creator
Creator deity
A creator deity is a deity responsible for the creation of the world . In monotheism, the single God is often also the creator deity, while polytheistic traditions may or may not have creator deities...

 or Gichi-Manidoo (Great Spirit).
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Encyclopedia

Anishinaabe or Anishinabe—or more properly Anishinaabeg or Anishinabek, which is the plural form of the word—is the autonym often used by the Odawa
Ottawa (tribe)
The Odawa or Ottawa, said to mean "traders," are a Native American and First Nations people. They are one of the Anishinaabeg, related to but distinct from the Ojibwe nation. Their original homelands are located on Manitoulin Island, near the northern shores of Lake Huron, on the Bruce Peninsula in...

, Ojibwe
Ojibwa
The Ojibwe or Chippewa are among the largest groups of Native Americans–First Nations north of Mexico. They are divided between Canada and the United States. In Canada, they are the third-largest population among First Nations, surpassed only by Cree and Inuit...

, and Algonquin peoples. They all speak closely related Anishinaabemowin/Anishinaabe languages, of the Algonquian language family
Algonquian languages
The Algonquian languages also Algonkian) are a subfamily of Native American languages which includes most of the languages in the Algic language family. The name of the Algonquian language family is distinguished from the orthographically similar Algonquin dialect of the Ojibwe language, which is a...

.

The meaning of Anishnaabeg is "First" or "Original-Peoples". Another definition - possibly reflecting a traditionalist's viewpoint with a certain moral dimension - refers to "the good humans", or good people, meaning those who are on the right road/path given to them by the Creator
Creator deity
A creator deity is a deity responsible for the creation of the world . In monotheism, the single God is often also the creator deity, while polytheistic traditions may or may not have creator deities...

 or Gichi-Manidoo (Great Spirit). The Ojibwe scholar, linguist and author Basil Johnston, who explains the name in a creationist context, states that its literal translation is "Beings Made Out of Nothing", or "Spontaneous Beings", since they had been created by divine breath and were made up of flesh and blood and a soul or spirit - instead of rock, or fire, or water, or wind.

Not all Anishinaabemowin speakers, however, call themselves Anishinaabeg. The Ojibwe people who moved to what are now the prairie provinces of Canada call themselves Nakawē(-k) and their branch of the Anishinaabe language, Nakawēmowin. (The French ethnonym
Ethnonym
An ethnonym is the name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms and autonyms or endonyms .As an example, the ethnonym for...

 for the group was the Saulteaux
Saulteaux
The Saulteaux are a First Nation in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.-Ethnic classification:The Saulteaux are a branch of the Ojibwe nations. They are sometimes also called Anihšināpē . Saulteaux is a French term meaning "people of the rapids," referring to...

). Particular Anishinaabeg groups have different names from region to region.


There are many variant spellings of the Anishinaabe name, depending on the transcription scheme and also on whether the name is singular or plural. Therefore, different spelling systems may indicate vowel length
Vowel length
In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived duration of a vowel sound. Often the chroneme, or the "longness", acts like a consonant, and may etymologically be one, such as in Australian English. While not distinctive in most dialects of English, vowel length is an important phonemic factor in...

 or spell certain consonants differently (Anishinabe, Anicinape); meanwhile, variants ending in -eg/ek (Anishinaabeg, Anishinabek) come from an Algonquian
Algonquin language
Algonquin is either a distinct Algonquian language closely related to the Ojibwe language or a particularly divergent Ojibwe dialect. It is spoken, alongside French and to some extent English, by the Algonquin First Nations of Quebec and Ontario...

 plural, while those ending in an -e come from an Algonquian singular.

The name Anishinaabe is realised as Nishnaabe in some parts of North America, most prominently among the Odawa
Odawa people
The Odawa or Ottawa, said to mean "traders," are a Native American and First Nations people. They are one of the Anishinaabeg, related to but distinct from the Ojibwe nation. Their original homelands are located on Manitoulin Island, near the northern shores of Lake Huron, on the Bruce Peninsula in...

. The cognate
Cognate
In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. This learned term derives from the Latin cognatus . Cognates within the same language are called doublets. Strictly speaking, loanwords from another language are usually not meant by the term, e.g...

 Neshnabé comes from the Potawatomi
Potawatomi
The Potawatomi are a Native American people of the upper Mississippi River region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family. In the Potawatomi language, they generally call themselves Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and that was applied...

, a people long allied with the Odawa and Ojibwe in the Council of Three Fires
Council of Three Fires
The Council of Three Fires, also known as the People of the Three Fires, the Three Fires Confederacy, the United Nations of Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi Indians, or Niswi-mishkodewin in the Anishinaabe language, is a long-standing Anishinaabe alliance of the Ojibwe , Ottawa , and Potawatomi...

. Identified as Anishinaabe, but not part of the Council of Three Fires, are the Nipissing
Nipissing First Nation
The Nipissing First Nation consists of first nation people of Ojibwa and Algonquin descent who have lived in the area of Lake Nipissing in the Canadian province of Ontario for about 9,400 years. Though in history known by many names, they are generally considered part of the Anishinaabe peoples,...

, Mississauga and Algonquin.

Closely related to the Ojibwe and speaking a language mutually intelligible with Anishinaabemowin
Ojibwe language
Ojibwe , also called Anishinaabemowin, is an indigenous language of the Algonquian language family. Ojibwe is characterized by a series of dialects that have local names and frequently local writing systems...

 (Anishinaabe language) are the Oji-Cree (also known as "Severn Ojibwe"). Their most common autonym is Anishinini (plural: Anishininiwag) and they call their language Anishininiimowin
Oji-Cree language
The Severn Ojibwa or the Oji-Cree language is the indigenous name for a dialect of the Ojibwe language spoken in a series of Oji-Cree communities in northern Ontario and at Island Lake, Manitoba, Canada...

.

Among the Anishinaabeg, the Ojibwe collectively call the Nipissings and the Algonquins Odishkwaagamii (those who are at the end of the lake), while those among the Nipissings who identify themselves as Algonquins call the Algonquins proper Omàmiwinini (those who are downstream).

History


According to Anishinaabeg tradition, and from records of wiigwaasabak (birch bark scrolls), the people migrated from the eastern areas of North America, and from along the East Coast. In myth, the homeland was called Turtle Island.

Oral traditions among the Anishinaabeg tell a variety of creation stories. According to the oral history, seven great miigis (radiant/iridescent beings in human form) appeared to the Anishinaabe peoples in the Waabanakiing
Wabanaki
Wabanaki, Wabenaki, Wobanaki, etc. may refer to:In geography* area referred as the "Dawn land" by many Algonquian-speaking peoples to describe the Eastern region of the North American continent, generally described as being New England in the United States, plus Quebec and the Maritimes in CanadaIn...

 (Land of the Dawn, i.e. Eastern Land) to teach the people about the midewiwin
Midewiwin
The Midewiwin or the Grand Medicine Society is a secretive religion of the aboriginal groups of the Maritimes, New England and Great Lakes regions in North America. Its practitioners are called Midew and the practices of Midewiwin referred to as Mide...

 life-style. One great miigis was too spiritually powerful and would kill people in the Waabanakiing whenever they were in its presence. This being later returned to the depths of the ocean, leaving the six great miigis to teach the people.

Each of the six miigis established separate doodem (clans) for the people. Of these doodem, five clan systems appeared:
i) Awaazisii (Bullhead
Brown bullhead
The brown bullhead, Ameiurus nebulosus, is a fish of the Ictaluridae family that is widely distributed in North America. It is a species of bullhead catfish and is similar to the black bullhead and yellow bullhead...

),
ii) Baswenaazhi (Echo-maker, i.e., Crane
Crane (bird)
Cranes are a family, Gruidae, of large, long-legged and long-necked birds in the order Gruiformes. There are fifteen species of crane in four genera. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back...

),
iii) Aan'aawenh (Pintail Duck),
iv) Nooke (Tender, i.e., Bear
Bear
Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern...

), and
v) Moozoonii (Little Moose
Moose
The moose or Eurasian elk is the largest extant species in the deer family. Moose are distinguished by the palmate antlers of the males; other members of the family have antlers with a dendritic configuration...

). Later a sixth was added.
vi) Waabizheshi (Marten
Marten
The martens constitute the genus Martes within the subfamily Mustelinae, in family Mustelidae.-Description:Martens are slender, agile animals, adapted to living in taigas, and are found in coniferous and northern deciduous forests across the northern hemisphere. They have bushy tails, and large...

).

After founding the doodem, the six miigis returned to the depths of the ocean as well. Some oral histories surmise that if the seventh miigis had stayed, it would have established the Animikii Thunderbird
Thunderbird (mythology)
The Thunderbird is a legendary creature in certain North American indigenous peoples' history and culture. It is considered a "supernatural" bird of power and strength...

 doodem.

The powerful miigis returned in a vision relating a prophecy
Prophecy
Prophecy is a process in which one or more messages that have been communicated to a prophet are then communicated to others. Such messages typically involve divine inspiration, interpretation, or revelation of conditioned events to come as well as testimonies or repeated revelations that the...

 to the people. It said that the Anishinaabeg needed to move west to keep their traditional ways alive, because of the many new settlements and people not of Anishinaabe blood who would soon arrive. The migration path of the Anishinaabe peoples would become a series of smaller Turtle Islands, confirmed by the miigis shells (i.e., cowry
Cowry
Cowry, also sometimes spelled cowrie, plural cowries, is the common name for a group of small to large sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Cypraeidae, the cowries...

 shells). After receiving assurance from their "Allied Brothers" (i.e., Mi'kmaq) and "Father" (i.e., Abnaki) of their safety in crossing other tribal territory, the Anishinaabeg moved inland. They advanced along the St. Lawrence River to the Ottawa River
Ottawa River
The Ottawa River is a river in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. For most of its length, it now defines the border between these two provinces.-Geography:...

 and through to Lake Nipissing
Lake Nipissing
Lake Nipissing is a lake in the Canadian province of Ontario. It has a surface area of , a mean elevation of above sea level, and is located between the Ottawa River and Georgian Bay. Excluding the Great Lakes, Lake Nipissing is the fifth-largest lake in Ontario. It is relatively shallow for a...

, and then to the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

.

The first of these smaller Turtle Islands was Mooniyaa, where Mooniyaang (Montreal, Quebec) now stands. Here the Anishinaabeg divided into two groups: one that travelled up and settled along the Ottawa River, and the core group who proceeded to the "second stopping place" near Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls
The Niagara Falls, located on the Niagara River draining Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, is the collective name for the Horseshoe Falls and the adjacent American Falls along with the comparatively small Bridal Veil Falls, which combined form the highest flow rate of any waterfalls in the world and has...

.

By the time the Anishinaabeg established their "third stopping place" near the present city of Detroit
Detroit, Michigan
Detroit is the major city among the primary cultural, financial, and transportation centers in the Metro Detroit area, a region of 5.2 million people. As the seat of Wayne County, the city of Detroit is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and serves as a major port on the Detroit River...

, the Anishinaabeg had divided into six distinct nations: Algonquin, Nipissing
Nipissing First Nation
The Nipissing First Nation consists of first nation people of Ojibwa and Algonquin descent who have lived in the area of Lake Nipissing in the Canadian province of Ontario for about 9,400 years. Though in history known by many names, they are generally considered part of the Anishinaabe peoples,...

, Mississauga, Ojibwa
Ojibwa
The Ojibwe or Chippewa are among the largest groups of Native Americans–First Nations north of Mexico. They are divided between Canada and the United States. In Canada, they are the third-largest population among First Nations, surpassed only by Cree and Inuit...

, Odawa
Ottawa (tribe)
The Odawa or Ottawa, said to mean "traders," are a Native American and First Nations people. They are one of the Anishinaabeg, related to but distinct from the Ojibwe nation. Their original homelands are located on Manitoulin Island, near the northern shores of Lake Huron, on the Bruce Peninsula in...

 and Potawatomi
Potawatomi
The Potawatomi are a Native American people of the upper Mississippi River region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family. In the Potawatomi language, they generally call themselves Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and that was applied...

. While the Odawa established their long-held cultural centre on Manitoulin Island
Manitoulin Island
Manitoulin Island is a Canadian island in Lake Huron, in the province of Ontario. It is the largest island in a freshwater lake in the world. In addition to the historic Anishinaabe and European settlement of the island, archeological discoveries at Sheguiandah have demonstrated Paleo-Indian and...

, the Ojibwe established their centre in the Sault Ste. Marie
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Sault Ste. Marie is a city on the St. Marys River in Algoma District, Ontario, Canada. It is the third largest city in Northern Ontario, after Sudbury and Thunder Bay, with a population of 74,948. The community was founded as a French religious mission: Sault either means "jump" or "rapids" in...

 region of Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada. With expansion of trade with the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and later the British, fostered by availability of European small arms
Small arms
Small arms is a term of art used by armed forces to denote infantry weapons an individual soldier may carry. The description is usually limited to revolvers, pistols, submachine guns, carbines, assault rifles, battle rifles, multiple barrel firearms, sniper rifles, squad automatic weapons, light...

, members of the Council of Three Fires
Council of Three Fires
The Council of Three Fires, also known as the People of the Three Fires, the Three Fires Confederacy, the United Nations of Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi Indians, or Niswi-mishkodewin in the Anishinaabe language, is a long-standing Anishinaabe alliance of the Ojibwe , Ottawa , and Potawatomi...

 expanded southward to the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

, southwestward along the Illinois River
Illinois River
The Illinois River is a principal tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately long, in the State of Illinois. The river drains a large section of central Illinois, with a drainage basin of . This river was important among Native Americans and early French traders as the principal water route...

, and westward along Lake Superior
Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the...

, Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods is a lake occupying parts of the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba and the U.S. state of Minnesota. It separates a small land area of Minnesota from the rest of the United States. The Northwest Angle and the town of Angle Township can only be reached from the rest of...

 and the northern Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

. In their western expansion, the Ojibwa again divided, forming the Saulteaux, the seventh major branch of the Anishinaabeg: .

As the Anishinaabeg moved inland, through both alliances and conquest, they incorporated various other closely related Algonquian peoples into the Anishinaabe Nation. These included, but were not limited to, the Noquet (originally part of the Menomini Tribe) and Mandwe (originally part of the Fox). Other incorporated groups can generally be identified by the individual's Doodem
Totem
A totem is a stipulated ancestor of a group of people, such as a family, clan, group, lineage, or tribe.Totems support larger groups than the individual person. In kinship and descent, if the apical ancestor of a clan is nonhuman, it is called a totem...

 (Clan). Migizi-doodem (Bald Eagle Clan) generally identifies those whose ancestors were Americans and Ma'iingan-doodem (Wolf Clan) as Santee Sioux.

Other Anishinaabe doodem migrated out of the core Anishinaabeg groupings, such as the Nibiinaabe-doodem (Merman Clan), which is now the "Water-spirit Clan" of the Winnebagos
Ho-Chunk
The Ho-Chunk, also known as Winnebago, are a tribe of Native Americans, native to what is now Wisconsin and Illinois. There are two federally recognized Ho-Chunk tribes, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska....

. Anishinaabe peoples now reside throughout North America, in both the northern United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and southern Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, chiefly around the Great Lakes and Lake Winnipeg
Lake Winnipeg
Lake Winnipeg is a large, lake in central North America, in the province of Manitoba, Canada, with its southern tip about north of the city of Winnipeg...

.

After this migration, and the immigration of European newcomers to North America, many Anishinaabeg groups later entered into treaties with the governments of the Dominion of Canada and the United States. Treaty 3 (of the Numbered Treaties) in Canada was signed in 1873 between the Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) people west of the Great Lakes and the government of Canada. Through other treaties
Treaty
A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

 and resulting relocations, some Anishinaabeg now reside in the states of Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, South Dakota, and Montana in the United States, and the provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia in Canada.

Historical relations between the Anishinaabeg and other indigenous groups



Historical relations between the Anishinaabeg and European settlers



The first of the Anishinaabeg to encounter European settlers were those of the Three Fires Confederation, within the states of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

, Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, and Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 in the territory of the present-day United States, and southern Ontario and Quebec of Canada. Although there were many peaceful interactions between the Anishinaabeg and the European settlers, there were also times of turmoil and war. Warfare cost many lives on both sides.

The Anishinaabe dealt with Europeans through the fur trade
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

, intermarriage, and performance as allies. Europeans traded with the Anishinaabe for their furs in exchange for goods, and also hired the men as guides throughout the lands of North America. The Anishinaabeg (as well as other Aboriginal groups) began to intermarry with fur traders and trappers. Some of their descendants would later create the Métis
Métis
A Métis is a person born to parents who belong to different groups defined by visible physical differences, regarded as racial, or the descendant of such persons. The term is of French origin, and also is a cognate of mestizo in Spanish, mestiço in Portuguese, and mestee in English...

 ethnic group. Fur traders were generally capitalists with significant backing. They tended to marry daughters of chiefs, with both sides forming high-status alliances. The explorers, trappers and other European workers married or had unions with other Anishinaabeg women, and their descendants tended to form the Métis.

In French North America



The earliest Europeans to encounter native peoples in the Great Lakes area were the French voyageurs. They were mainly trappers rather than settlers. Such explorers gave French names to many places in present-day Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 and Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

.

In British North America



The ethnic identities of the Ojibwa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi did not develop until after the Anishinaabeg reached Michilimackinac on their journey westward from the Atlantic coast. Using the Midewiwin scrolls, Potawatomi elder Shup-Shewana dated the formation of the Council of Three Fires to 796 AD at Michilimackinac.

In this Council, the Ojibwe were addressed as the "Older Brother," the Odawa as the "Middle Brother," and the Potawatomi as the "Younger Brother." Consequently, when the three Anishinaabe nations are mentioned in this specific order: Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi, it is an indicator implying Council of Three Fires as well. Each tribe had different functions: the Ojibwa were the "keepers of the faith," the Odawa the "keepers of trade," and the Potawatomi are the "keepers/maintainers of/for the fire" (boodawaadam). This was the basis for their exonyms of Boodewaadamii (Ojibwe spelling) or Bodéwadmi (Potawatomi spelling).

The Ottawa (also Odawa, Odaawa, Outaouais, or Trader) are a Native American and First Nations people. Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa (or Anishinaabemowin in Eastern Ojibwe syllabics) is the third most commonly spoken Native language in Canada (after Cree and Inuktitut), and the fourth most spoken in North America (behind Navajo, Cree, and Inuktitut). Potawatomi is a Central Algonquian language. It is spoken around the Great Lakes in Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as in Kansas in the United States. In southern Ontario in Canada, it is spoken by fewer than 50 people.

Though the Three Fires had several meeting places, they preferred Michilimackinac due to its central location. The Council met for military and political purposes. The Council maintained relations with fellow Anishinaabeg nations: the Ozaagii (Sac), Odagaamii (Meskwaki), Omanoominii (Menominee), Wiinibiigoo (Ho-Chunk), Naadawe (Iroquois Confederacy), Nii'inaawi-Naadawe (Wyandot), Naadawensiw (Sioux), Wemitigoozhi (France), Zhaaganaashi (England) and the Gichi-mookomaan (the United States). After the Europeans came into the country, the French built Fort Michilimackinac in the 18th century. After the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

, the victorious English took over the fort, also using it as a trading post.

Through the totem-system (a totem is any entity which watches over or assists a group of people, such as a family, clan or tribe. ) and promotion of trade, the Council generally had a peaceful existence with its neighbours. However, occasional unresolved disputes erupted into wars. The Council notably fought against the Iroquois Confederacy and the Sioux. During the Seven Years' War, the Council fought against England.

The Anishinaabeg established a relationship with the British similar to that they had with the French. They formed the Three Fires Confederation in reaction to conflict with encroaching settlers and continuing tensions with the British Canadian government, as well as that of the new United States.

In the United States



The Three Fires Confederacy had conflict with the new United States after the American Revolution, as settlers kept encroaching on their territory. The Council became the core member of the Western Lakes Confederacy (also known as "Great Lakes Confederacy"), joining together with the Wyandots, Algonquins, Nipissing, Sacs, Meskwaki and others.

During the Northwest Indian War
Northwest Indian War
The Northwest Indian War , also known as Little Turtle's War and by various other names, was a war fought between the United States and a confederation of numerous American Indian tribes for control of the Northwest Territory...

 and the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, the Three Fires Confederacy fought against the United States. Many Anishinaabe refugees from the Revolutionary War, particularly Odawa and Potawatomi, migrated north to British-held areas.

Those who remained in the east were subjected to the 1830 Indian Removal
Indian Removal
Indian removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river...

 policy of the United States; among the Anishinaabeg, the Potawatomi were most affected. The Odawa
Odawa people
The Odawa or Ottawa, said to mean "traders," are a Native American and First Nations people. They are one of the Anishinaabeg, related to but distinct from the Ojibwe nation. Their original homelands are located on Manitoulin Island, near the northern shores of Lake Huron, on the Bruce Peninsula in...

 had been removed from the settlers' paths, so only a handful of communities experienced removal. For the Ojibwa, removal attempts culminated in the Sandy Lake Tragedy
Sandy Lake Tragedy
The Sandy Lake Tragedy was the culmination of a series of events centered in Sandy Lake, Minnesota, that resulted in the deaths in 1850 of several hundred Lake Superior Chippewa. Officials of the Zachary Taylor Administration and Minnesota Territory sought to relocate several bands of the tribe to...

 and several hundred deaths. The Potawatomi avoided removal only by escaping into Ojibwa-held areas and hiding from US officials.

William Whipple Warren
William Whipple Warren
William Whipple Warren was a mixed-blood Ojibwe historian, interpreter, and legislator in the Minnesota Territory. He moved from Wisconsin to Crow Wing in the fall of 1845. Warren suffered from lung problems for many years and died as a young man of 28 from tuberculosis on June 1, 1853.-Early life...

 (1825–1853), a United States man of mixed-Ojibwe and European descent, became an interpreter, assistant to a trader to the Ojibwe, and legislator
Legislator
A legislator is a person who writes and passes laws, especially someone who is a member of a legislature. Legislators are usually politicians and are often elected by the people...

 of the Minnesota Territory
Minnesota Territory
The Territory of Minnesota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 3, 1849, until May 11, 1858, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Minnesota.-History:...

. A gifted storyteller and historian, he collected native accounts and wrote the History of the Ojibway People, Based Upon Traditions and Oral Statements, first published by the Minnesota Historical Society
Minnesota Historical Society
The Minnesota Historical Society is a private, non-profit educational and cultural institution dedicated to preserving the history of the U.S. state of Minnesota. It was founded by the territorial legislature in 1849, almost a decade before statehood. The Society is named in the Minnesota...

 in 1885, some 32 years after his early death from tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

. Given his Anglo-American father Lyman Marcus Warren and American education, the Indians of the time did not consider William one of them. They did think of him as a friend and half-brother, because he knew the Ojibwe language and much about the culture from his Ojibwe-French mother, Marie Cadotte. His work covered much of the culture and history of the Ojibwe, gathered from stories of the nation.

Warren identified the Crane and Loon clans as the two Chief clans among his mother's Anishinaabe people. Crane Clan was responsible for external governmental relationships, and Loon Clan was responsible for internal governance relationships. Warren believed that the British and United States governments had deliberately destroyed the clan system, or the polity of governance, when they forced indigenous nations to adopt representative government and direct elections of chiefs. Further, he believed such destruction led to many wars among the Anishinaabe. He also cited the experiences of other Native Nations in the US (such as the Creek, Fox
Fox
Fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium-sized canids , characterized by possessing a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail .Members of about 37 species are referred to as foxes, of which only 12 species actually belong to...

 and others). His work in its entirety demonstrated the significance of the clan system.

After the Sandy Lake Tragedy, the government changed its policy to relocating tribes onto reservations
Indian reservation
An American Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs...

, often by consolidating groups of communities. Conflict continued through the 19th century, as Native Americans and the United States had different goals. After the Dakota War of 1862
Dakota War of 1862
The Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux Uprising, was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of the eastern Sioux. It began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota...

, many Anishinaabe communities in Minnesota were relocated and further consolidated.

In Canada


Population estimates indicate that the Anishinaabeg population in the United States is more numerous than that of Canada, but census reports are criticized as being inaccurate.

The Canadian Anishinaabeg are descended from the northern Lake Superior Anishinaabeg, whose original homeland was probably in the vicinity of the eastern upper peninsula of Michigan. They separated, with one group going down into Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, southern Ontario and Pennsylvania, while another group migrated straight westward. The ancestors of the Canadian Anishinaabeg moved to the north, and then to the west. They migrated to eastern British Columbia in the 19th century.

Scholars of the Anishinaabeg will eventually learn if all Anishinaabeg are descended from those Anishinaabeg of the eastern upper peninsula of Michigan, or if they are descended from the Algonquin Anishinaabeg of Quebec. The people's history points to the upper peninsula of Michigan as their land of formation.

The Anishinaabeg of Canada have managed to withstand the efforts of the European settlers and hold onto their languages. An estimated 50,000 Canadian Anishinaabeg speak their native tongue. From Quebec to the eastern lands of British Columbia, the Anishinaabeg reserves are, for the most part, smaller in size than those in the US, a factor which may have helped them preserve the languages.

Relations today between the Anishinaabeg and their neighbours



Other indigenous groups



There are many Anishinaabeg reserves and reservations; in some places the Anishinaabeg share some of their lands with others, such as the Cree, the Dakota, Delaware, and the Kickapoo, among others. The Anishnabek who "merged" with the Kickapoo tribe may now identify as being Kickapoo in Kansas and Oklahoma. The Prairie Potawatomi were the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi of Illinois and Wisconsin who were relocated to Kansas during the 19th century.

Canada



The Anishinaabe of Manitoba, particularly those along the east side of Lake Winnipeg, have had longstanding historical conflicts with the Cree people.

United States



The relationships between the various Anishinaabe communities with the United States government have been steadily improving since the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act
Indian Reorganization Act
The Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934 the Indian New Deal, was U.S. federal legislation that secured certain rights to Native Americans, including Alaska Natives...

. Several Anishinaabe communities still experience tensions with the state governments, county governments and with non-Native American individuals and their groups.

In contemporary times, the Anishinaabe have worked to renew the clan system as a model for self-governance. They have drawn from the work of Ojibwe educator Edward Benton-Banai, who emphasizes education based on one's own culture. They believe using the clan system will also be a basis of cultural and political revitalization of the people.

Major issues facing the various Anishinaabe communities are:
  • cultural and language preservation or revitalization;
  • full and independent federal recognition: some Anishinaabe communities are recognized by county or state governments, or are recognized by the federal government only as part of another tribe;
  • treaty rights: traditional means of support (hunting, fishing and gathering), establishment of reservations or upholding of the reservation boundaries per treaties and their amendments;
  • personal health: diabetes and asthma
    Asthma
    Asthma is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath...

     affect many Anishinaabe communities at a rate higher than the general population; and
  • social disparity: many Anishinaabeg suffer poor education, high unemployment, substance abuse/addiction
    Substance dependence
    The section about substance dependence in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not use the word addiction at all. It explains:...

     and domestic violence
    Domestic violence
    Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, and intimate partner violence , is broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, or cohabitation...

     at rates higher than the general population.

Anishinaabe in popular culture


A fictional Anishinaabe clan in Ontario, the Mtigwaki, were featured in the comic strip For Better or For Worse
For Better or For Worse
For Better or For Worse is a comic strip by Lynn Johnston that ran for 30 years, chronicling the lives of a Canadian family, The Pattersons, and their friends. The story is set in the fictitious Toronto-area suburban town of Milborough, Ontario. Johnston's strip began in September 1979, and ended...

 from 2005–2006.

The popular book "Keeper N' Me" also reflects on the people and the traditions of the Anishinaabe people.

See also

  • Algonquin (Omaamiwinini)
    • Algonquin language
      Algonquin language
      Algonquin is either a distinct Algonquian language closely related to the Ojibwe language or a particularly divergent Ojibwe dialect. It is spoken, alongside French and to some extent English, by the Algonquin First Nations of Quebec and Ontario...

  • Anishinaabe/Tribal Political Organizations
    Anishinaabe/Tribal Political Organizations
    A Tribal Political Organization is a political tribal council advocating the political interests of the First Nations and Tribes of their constituency...

  • Midewiwin
    Midewiwin
    The Midewiwin or the Grand Medicine Society is a secretive religion of the aboriginal groups of the Maritimes, New England and Great Lakes regions in North America. Its practitioners are called Midew and the practices of Midewiwin referred to as Mide...

  • Mississaugas
    Mississaugas
    The Mississaugas are a subtribe of the Anishinaabe-speaking First Nations people located in southern Ontario, Canada. They are closely related to the Ojibwa...

     (Misi-zaagiing)
  • Nipissing
    Nipissing First Nation
    The Nipissing First Nation consists of first nation people of Ojibwa and Algonquin descent who have lived in the area of Lake Nipissing in the Canadian province of Ontario for about 9,400 years. Though in history known by many names, they are generally considered part of the Anishinaabe peoples,...

     (Odishkwaagamii)
  • Oji-Cree/Severn Ojibwa (Anishinini)
    • Oji-Cree language
      Oji-Cree language
      The Severn Ojibwa or the Oji-Cree language is the indigenous name for a dialect of the Ojibwe language spoken in a series of Oji-Cree communities in northern Ontario and at Island Lake, Manitoba, Canada...

       (Anishininiimowin)
  • Ojibwa/Chippewa
    Ojibwa
    The Ojibwe or Chippewa are among the largest groups of Native Americans–First Nations north of Mexico. They are divided between Canada and the United States. In Canada, they are the third-largest population among First Nations, surpassed only by Cree and Inuit...

     (Ojibwe)
    • Ojibwe language
      Ojibwe language
      Ojibwe , also called Anishinaabemowin, is an indigenous language of the Algonquian language family. Ojibwe is characterized by a series of dialects that have local names and frequently local writing systems...

    • Ojibwa ethnonyms
  • Odawa
    Odawa people
    The Odawa or Ottawa, said to mean "traders," are a Native American and First Nations people. They are one of the Anishinaabeg, related to but distinct from the Ojibwe nation. Their original homelands are located on Manitoulin Island, near the northern shores of Lake Huron, on the Bruce Peninsula in...

     (Odaawaa/Ottawa)
    • Odawa language
  • Potawatomi
    Potawatomi
    The Potawatomi are a Native American people of the upper Mississippi River region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family. In the Potawatomi language, they generally call themselves Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and that was applied...

     (Boodewaadamii/Bodéwadmi)
    • Potawatomi language
      Potawatomi language
      Potawatomi is a Central Algonquian language and is spoken around the Great Lakes in Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as in Kansas in the United States, and in southern Ontario in Canada, 1300 Potawatomi people, all elderly...

    • Potawatomi ethnonyms
  • Saulteaux/Plains Ojibwa
    Saulteaux
    The Saulteaux are a First Nation in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.-Ethnic classification:The Saulteaux are a branch of the Ojibwe nations. They are sometimes also called Anihšināpē . Saulteaux is a French term meaning "people of the rapids," referring to...

    (Nakawē)

Further reading

  • Cappel, Constance. The Smallpox Genocide of the Odawa Tribe at L'Arbre Croche, 1763: The History of a Native American People. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2007. ISBN 0773452206
  • Long, J. Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader Describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians, with an Account of the Posts Situated on the River Saint Laurence, Lake Ontario, & C., to Which Is Added a Vocabulary of the Chippeway Language ... a List of Words in the Iroquois, Mehegan, Shawanee, and Esquimeaux Tongues, and a Table, Shewing the Analogy between the Algonkin and the Chippeway Languages. London: Robson, 1791.
  • Moose, Lawrence L. Aaniin Ekidong: Ojibwe Vocabulary Project. St. Paul: Minnesota Humanities Center, 2009.
  • Treuer, Anton. Living Our Language: Ojibwe Tales & Oral Histories. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2001. ISBN 0873514041
  • Treuer, Anton. Ojibwe in Minnesota. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2010. ISBN 9780873517683
  • Warren, William W. (1851). History of the Ojibway People.
  • White, Richard (1991) The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650–1815 (Studies in North American Indian History) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, ISBN 0-521-37104-X

External links