Geographical region : Northeast (Canadian Shield: Quibec, Ontario, Minnesota, Michigan and surrounding areas)

Lived normally in Domed bark, thatch or hide houses.

Language group : Algonquian - Wakashan linguistic stock.


Traditional significance of name in their own language, "to roast until puckered up," referring to the puckered seam in their moccasins.

The earliest accounts of the Chippewa associate them particularly with the region of Sault Sainte Marie, but they came in time to extend over the entire northern shore of Lake Huron and both shores of Lake Superior, besides well into the northern interior and as far west as the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota.

In the mid-17th cent., when visited by Father Claude Jean Allouez, they occupied the shores of Lake Superior.

According to tradition, the Chippewa were part of a large body of Indians which came from the east-how much east of their later homes is uncertain-and after reaching Mackinaw separated into the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi.

The Chippewa afterward pushed their way west along both shores of Lake Superior, and in the eighteenth century, assisted by the adoption of firearms, drove the Dakota from Mille Lacs, and spread over the northern part of Minnesota and southern Manitoba as far as the Turtle Mountains.

They also flowed back around Lake Huron.

During the nineteenth century they were gradually gathered into reservations on both sides of the International Boundary, but none were ever removed from their original country except two small bands and some scattered families which went to Kansas early in 1839, and in 1866 agreed to settle among the Cherokee in Oklahoma.


Additional information :

To end any confusion, the Ojibwa and Chippewa are not only the same tribe, but the same word pronounced a little differently due to accent.

If an "O" is placed in front of Chippewa (O'chippewa), the relationship becomes apparent.

Ojibwa is used in Canada, although Ojibwa west of Lake Winnipeg are sometime referred to as the Saulteaux.

In United States, Chippewa was used in all treaties and is the official name.

The Chippewas were the largest and most powerful tribe in the Great Lakes country, with a range that extended from the edge of Iroquois territory in the Northeast to the Sioux-dominated Great Plains.

Both of these major tribes were traditional Chippewa rivals, but neither was powerful enough to threaten the Chippewa heartland, where the Chippewa was master.

They were constantly at war with the Sioux and the Fox over possession of the rich fields of wild rice in this region.

When the Ojibwa received (1690) firearms from the French, they drove the Fox from N. Wisconsin. They then turned against the Sioux, compelling them to cross the Mississippi River.

The Ojibwa continued their expansion West across Minnesota and North Dakota until they reached the Turtle Mts. in North central North Dakota. This group became the Plains Ojibwa.

The Ojibwa, one of the largest tribes North of Mexico, then numbered some 25,000.

They were allied with the French in the French and Indian Wars, and with the British in the War of 1812. After the War of 1812 they made a treaty with the United States, and since that time they have lived on reservations in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.

The Ojibwa, except for the Plains Ojibwa, were a fairly sedentary people who depended for food on fishing, hunting (deer), farming (corn and squash), and the gathering of wild rice.

They obtained and used maple sugar and smoked kinnikinnick, a tobacco made from dried leaves and bark.

The tribe used the lakes and rivers of the region like a vast highway network, and developed the birch bark canoe into one of the continent's major means of transportation.

The characteristic dwelling was the wigwam.

The Ojibwa had a unique form of picture writing that was intimately connected with the religious and magico-medical rites of the Midewiwin society.


Difference Between Ojibwe and Chippewa :

Chippewa, Ojibwe and Anishinabe and three terms Mille Lacs Band members often use when speaking about their People.

Some historians say the term Ojibwe originated from the puckered moccasin that the Ojibwe were known for wearing and making.

Others say that the word refers to the Ojibwe language itself, because the word for the Ojibwe language is Ojibwemowin.

In addition to various interpretations of the meaning, there are also different spellings for Ojibwe, such as Ojibwa or Ojibway.

Despite these differences, an important part of the Ojibwe tradition is respecting people's answers to historical questions such as this one.

Anishinabe is an Ojibwe word that means "spontaneously created" or "original man."

This term refers to all Indians living in North and South America, including the Ojibwe.

Ojibwe Indians often use the term Anishinabe (plural: Anishinabeg) when referring to one another.

Mille Lacs Band members usually refer to themselves as Ojibwe Anishinabe because that is how Ojibwe people have traditionally referred to themselves.

The word Chippewa probably came about as a mispronunciation on the part of the white men who wrote and signed treaties with the Ojibwe Indians in the 1800s.

Without a complete grasp of the Ojibwe language, these men referred to the Indians as Chippewa instead of Ojibwe.

The name Chippewa has stuck and is still used today by both Indians and non-Indians to refer to the Ojibwe people.

Mostly, it is used in reference to treaties.

See Frances Densmore, Chippewa Customs (1929, repr. 1970); Ruth Landes, Ojibwa Sociology (1937, repr. 1969) and Ojibwa Woman (1938, repr. 1971); Harold Hickerson, The Chippewa and Their Neighbors (1970).