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"You can not
destroy one who has dreamed a dream like mine."
("Gaa wiin daa-aangoshkigaazo
ahaw enaabiyaan gaa-inaabid.")
"What the people
believe is true."
"The 'White Indian'
is too susceptible to wrongdoing.
He always wants money. That is the reason for such poverty.
What is being left for our children - for the future generation?
And what then will they live on?
and shady places I am walking on the Earth."
The Chippewa nation's
traditional significance of its name in their own language, "to roast until
puckered up," refers to the puckering in seams of moccasins when held too close
or too longtoward a fire. They are also called Ojibwa, as the band preferred.
The Chippewa are one of the two largest divisions ofthe Algonquin linguistic
family. Originally from the Sault Sainte Marie region, they extended along the
entire shore of Lake Huron and both shores of Lake Superior, as well as into
the northern interior of North Dakota after separating into Chippewa, Ottawa
and Potawatomi. During the 19th century they gradually gathered upon reservations
in the United States and Canada. In 1650, the Chippewa population stood at 35,000.
In 1764 at 25,000. They scattered into many states in the Central and Plains
hopefully they'll let me die that way too!"
Charles Phillip White
We are one people
with three names. Those names are Chippewa, Ojibway and Anishinabe. Each name
has it's own history and as best I can I will describe the differences and usage
below. The following is basedupon my research and my own cultural exposure and
any errors or inconsistencies are my doing.
The name Chippewa
is the "official" name as recognized by the United States Government and is
used on all treaties. As such, this name is often used when talking in an official
matter, or informally to non-Indian people.
This name is the
most popular and the most proper as given it was given by our enemies. We use
this when talking with other Indian people or someone more familiar than the
above "Chippewa". It has many different spellings; Ojibway, Odjibwa, Odjibwe,
Ojibwag, Ochipoy, Tschipeway, Chepeways, Achipoes and others. There is some
controversy over it's real meaning, but suffice it to say it means, "to pucker.
"There are some that believe it is due to our puckered seam moccasins that were
sewn that way to keep the snow out. There is another meaning too but I won't
go into that here.
This is the word
that we call ourselves. Generally, it is reserved for Anishinabe people to refer
to themselves, although there are some that would rather be known by this name.
Actually, the Anishinabe are also people that live in our creation stories.
They are the original people and were very weak.
One meaning is
"original people as opposed to those other people who came later. "Another meaning
is "Original people meaning creators, as opposed to those who cannot create".
Connotations of the first meaning are that
the "original people" came down from the sky.
A celebrated Chipppeway Chief
or the Snagle'd Tooth
(Creeping out of the Water)
Mother & Child
or the Berry Picker
Kee-Me-One or Rain
or the Big Buck
Men-Dow-Min or The Corn
or The One Side of The Sky
or the Little Sturgeon
or the Figure'd Stone
or the Woman That Spoke First
An Ojibway Woman
Look at our brokenness.
We know that
in all creation
Only the human family
Has strayed from the Sacred Way.
We know that
we are the ones
Who are divided
And we are the ones
Who must come back together
To walk in the Sacred Way.
Teach us love, compassion, and honor
That we may heal the earth
And heal each other.
Oh Great Spirit,
whose voice I hear in the winds
And whose breath gives life to everyone,
I come to you
as one of your many children;
I am weak .... I am small ... I need your wisdom
and your strength.
Let me walk in
beauty, and make my eyes ever
behold the red and purple sunsets
Make my hands respect the things you have made.
And make my ears sharp so I may hear your voice.
Make me wise,
so that I may understand what you
have taught my people and
The lessons you have hidden in each leaf
and each rock.
I ask for wisdom
Not to be superior to my brothers, but to be able
to fight my greatest enemy, myself.
Make me ever ready to come before you with
clean hands and a straight eye.
So as life fades away as a fading sunset.
My spirit may come to you without shame
some have said
they could go
into the earth
and sit there singing
some have said they would go
up into trees
standing stone people
were the ones who sent them there
sitting high up in the trees
trees grown from the sacred roots
where they were one day
sitting inside the earth and singing
with those stones
of Indian Corn
Serpent and the Great Flood
Dogs Came to the Indians
Man and the Messenger of Springtime
Legend of the
of the White Bear
was once an Indian couple who lived in the North. The Warrior was a trapper
who trapped beaver in a lot of different ponds in the Winter. One day when
he returned from checking his traps he heard his wife calling. She had grabbed
a beaver by its tail and told her husband to kill it. He told her that he
could not do this as he had already trapped just so many in that pond and
that if he killed anymore then the rest would flee. She released the beaver
but became very angry. That night after the warrior had gone to sleep; she
ran from the lodge. The next morning when the warrior awoke he noticed that
she was gone but he saw her tracks in the snow and followed them. After many
miles he noticed that her footprints gradually changing. At last they became
the tracks of a skunk and he then noticed that there were many skunks in the
he returned to his people; he called this "The Place of the Skunk".
is the Ojibwa meaning for CHICAGO.
with the Chippewa & Ottawa - March 28, 1836
with the Chippewa - July 29, 1837
with the Chippewa - October 4, 1842
with the Chippewa - September 30, 1854
Computing Sciences and Engineering Project
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe: A Brief History
Language and Culture
Ojibwe Language and Culture Site
and Culture: Essays (BIA FAQ)
Miinawaa bimaadiziwin akiing etood
Bazindawishin! Nindagaachiinyiw miinawaa niniimiz.
Ninandawendaan gimishkawiziiwin miinawaa gigikendaasowin.
Bagidinishin wii-bimoseyaan wii-gonaajiwiyaan miinawaa
Nishkiinzhigoon apane ji-ani-waabandang meskwaag apaangishimog.
Nininjiin ji-ani-gichi-apiitendang gakina gegoon gaa-ozhitooyan
Miinawaa weweni wii-noondamaan ekidoyan.
Gikendamawishin wii-ani-nistotamaan gakina gegoon
Bagidinishin wii-ani-gikendamaan gikina gegoon gaa-ikidoyan
Aniibiishing miinawaa asiniing.
Mashkawiziiwin nindandane'aan, gaa wiin go nawaj wii-gichi-apiitendaagoziyaan
Wii-miigaanag gichi-zhiingenimag -- niin.
agidinishin apane wii-gizhiitaayaan wii-bi-izhaaminaan
Wii-mno-ganawaabamiyan apii waabaminaan.
Mii dash apii bimaadiziwin ni ningoshkaag dibishkoo apangishimog
Ninjichaag giga-bi-izhaamigon -- gaa win nga-giizaadendasii.
ntreaarowerreag guretageeg fewqutreneerecweeganaenmoganen frossudageeg e'reootrweegwegasduidwag
wertewag csoartoertwagnonertsawag Anishnibe e'in Anishnikek e'weegna daorerwag
US . (fool)wertagegweegan , A'HO . migwetch kegandweegan hadsicmakewas weegan
We are The
People and this is from My People to Your People.
Bizig , A'Ho
1990. "The Midewiwin, an aboriginal spiritual institution. Symbols of continuity:
a native studies culture-based perspective." Carleton University MA Thesis,
M.A. 1990. D44.
Hanington. 1975. The Sacred Scrolls of the Southern Ojibway. Toronto, U.P. E99.C6D43
and Potvin, Gilles (eds.). 1992. Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Toronto: University
of Toronto Press, ML106.C36E52. Native music section.
Landes, Ruth. 1968.
Ojibwa Religion and the Midewiwin. Milwaukee: University of Wisconsin Press,
E99 C6 L28.
1983. Traditional Ojibwa Religion and its Historical Changes. Philadelphia:
American Philosophical Society, E99 C6 V43.
1988. The Mishomis Book - The Voice of the Ojibway. St. Paul: Red School House
Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature
Compiled by: Glenn Welker
Copyright @ 1993-2016
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