- For other uses of Chippewa, see Chippewa (disambiguation).
The Ojibwa or Chippewa (also Ojibwe, Ojibway, Chippeway) are the third-largest group of Native Americans in the United States, surpassed only by Cherokee and Navajo. 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.  (http://emuseum.mnsu.edu/history/mncultures/anishinabe.html)
The Ojibwe language belongs to the Algonquian linguistic group. When first encountered by Europeans in the 17th century, they mostly lived around the shores of Lake Superior. Warring with the Dakota and the Fox, and newly armed by the French, they drove the Fox from northern Wisconsin and pushed the Dakota across the Mississippi. Eventually the Ojibwa reached the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota, and 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. The Ojibwa allied themselves with the French in the French and Indian War, and with the British in the War of 1812.
On July 8, 1822 the Ojibwa turned over a huge tract of land in Ontario to the United Kingdom.
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 waaginogan, made of birch bark, juniper bark and willow saplings. They also developed a form of pictorial writing used in religious rites of the Midewin 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.
Bands of Ojibwe people
- 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)