The Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa, or Saulteaux are an Anishinaabe people in southern Canada, the northern Midwestern United States, and the Northern Plains. They are Indigenous peoples of the Subarctic and Northeastern Woodlands.

According to the U.S. census, the Ojibwe people are one of the largest tribal populations among Native American peoples in the United States. In Canada, they are the second-largest First Nations population, surpassed only by the Cree. They are among the most numerous Indigenous Peoples north of the Rio Grande. The Ojibwe population is approximately 320,000 people, with 170,742 living in the United States as of 2010 and approximately 160,000 living in Canada. The United States has 77,940 mainline Ojibwe, 76,760 Saulteaux, and 8,770 Mississauga, organized in 125 bands. In Canada, they live from western Quebec to eastern British Columbia.

The Ojibwe language is Anishinaabemowin, a branch of the Algonquian language family.

They are part of the Council of Three Fires (including the Odawa and Potawatomi) and of the larger Anishinaabeg, including the Algonquin, Nipissing, and Oji-Cree people. Historically, through the Saulteaux branch, they were a part of the Iron Confederacy with the Cree, Assiniboine, and Metis.

The Ojibwe are known for their birchbark canoes, birchbark scrolls, mining and trade in copper, and wild rice and maple syrup harvesting. Their Midewiwin Society is well respected as the keeper of detailed and complex scrolls of events, oral history, songs, maps, memories, stories, geometry, and mathematics.

European powers, Canada, and the United States have colonized Ojibwe lands. The Ojibwe signed treaties with settler leaders to surrender land for settlement in exchange for compensation, land reserves and guarantees of traditional rights. Many European settlers moved into the Ojibwe ancestral lands.

According to Ojibwe's oral history and recordings in birch bark scrolls, the Ojibwe originated from the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River on the Atlantic coast of what is now Quebec. They traded widely across the continent for thousands of years as they migrated and knew of the canoe routes to move north, west to east, and then south in the Americas. The identification of the Ojibwe as a culture or people may have occurred in response to contact with Europeans. The Europeans preferred to deal with groups and tried to identify those they encountered.

According to Ojibwe's oral history, seven great miigis (Cowrie shells) appeared in the Waabanakiing (Land of the Dawn, i.e., Eastern Land) to teach them the mide way of life. One of the miigis was too spiritually powerful and killed the people in the Waabanakiing when they were in its presence. The six others remained to teach, while the one returned to the ocean, the six established doodem (clans) for people in the east, symbolized by animals. The five original Anishinaabe doodem were the Wawaazisii (Bullhead), Baswenaazhi (Echo-maker, i.e., Crane), Aan'aawenh (Pintail Duck), Nooke (Tender, i.e., Bear) and Moozoonsii (Little Moose). The six miigis then returned to the ocean as well. If the seventh had stayed, it would have established the Thunderbird doodem.

At a later time, one of these miigis appeared in a vision to relate a prophecy. It said that if the Anishinaabeg did not move farther west, they would not be able to keep their traditional ways alive because of the many new pale-skinned settlers who would arrive soon in the east. Their migration path would be symbolized by a series of smaller Turtle Islands, confirmed with miigis shells (i.e., cowry shells). After receiving assurance from their "Allied Brothers" (i.e., Mi'kmaq) and "Father" (i.e., Abenaki) of their safety to move inland, the Anishinaabeg gradually migrated west along the Saint Lawrence River to the Ottawa River to Lake Nipissing, and then to the Great Lakes.

The first of the smaller Turtle Islands was Mooniyaa, where Mooniyaang (present-day Montreal)  developed. The "second stopping place" was near the Wayaanag-gakaabikaa (Concave Waterfalls, i.e., Niagara Falls). At their "third stopping place," near the present-day city of Detroit, Michigan, the Anishinaabeg divided into six groups, of which the Ojibwe was one.

The first significant new Ojibwe culture center was their "fourth stopping place" on Manidoo Minising (Manitoulin Island). Their first new political center was called their "fifth stopping place" in their present country at Baawiting (Sault Ste. Marie). Continuing their westward expansion, the Ojibwe divided into the "northern branch," following the north shore of Lake Superior, and the "southern branch" along its south shore.

As the people continued to migrate westward, the "northern branch" divided into a "westerly group" and a "southerly group." The "southern branch" and the "southerly group" of the "northern branch" came together at their "sixth stopping place" on Spirit Island (46°41′15″N 092°11′21″W) located in the Saint Louis River estuary at the western end of Lake Superior. (This has since been developed as the present-day Duluth/Superior cities.) The people were directed in a vision by the miigis being to go to the "place where there is food (i.e., wild rice) upon the waters." Their second major settlement, referred to as their "seventh stopping place", was at Shaugawaumikong (or Zhaagawaamikong, French, Chequamegon) on the southern shore of Lake Superior, near the present La Pointe, Wisconsin.

The "westerly group" of the "northern branch" migrated along the Rainy River, Red River of the North, and across the northern Great Plains until reaching the Pacific Northwest. Along their migration to the west, they came across many miigis, or cowry shells, as told in the prophecy.

The first historical mention of the Ojibwe occurs in the French Jesuit Relation of 1640, a report by the missionary priests to their superiors in France. Through their friendship with the French traders (coureurs des bois and voyageurs), the Ojibwe gained guns, began to use European goods, and began to dominate their traditional enemies, the Lakota and Fox, to their west and south. They drove the Sioux from the Upper Mississippi region to the area of the present-day Dakotas and forced the Fox down from northern Wisconsin. The latter allied with the Sauk for protection.

By the end of the 18th century, the Ojibwe controlled nearly all present-day Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and Minnesota, including most of the Red River area. They also controlled the entire northern shores of lakes Huron and Superior on the Canadian side and extended westward to the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota. In the latter area, the French Canadians called them Ojibwe or Saulteaux.

The Ojibwe were part of a long-term alliance with the Anishinaabe Odawa and Potawatomi peoples, called the Council of Three Fires. They fought against the Iroquois Confederacy, based mainly to the southeast of the Great Lakes in present-day New York and the Sioux to the west. The Ojibwa stopped the Iroquois from advancing into their territory near Lake Superior in 1662. Then, they allied with other tribes, such as the Huron and the Odawa, displaced by the Iroquois invasion. Together, they launched a massive counterattack against the Iroquois and drove them out of Michigan and southern Ontario until they were forced to flee back to their original homeland in upstate New York. At the same time, the Iroquois were subjected to attacks by the French. This was the beginning of the end of the Iroquois Confederacy, as they were put on the defensive. The Ojibwe expanded eastward, taking over the lands along the eastern shores of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.

In 1745, they adopted guns from the British to repel the Dakota people in the Lake Superior area, pushing them to the south and west. In the 1680s, the Ojibwa defeated the Iroquois, who dispersed their Huron allies and trading partners. This victory allowed them a "golden age" in which they ruled uncontested in southern Ontario.

"Peace and friendship treaties" often established community bonds between the Ojibwe and the European settlers. These established the groundwork for cooperative resource-sharing between the Ojibwe and the settlers. The United States and Canada viewed later treaties offering land cessions as offering territorial advantages. The Ojibwe did not understand the land cession terms similarly because of the cultural differences in understanding land uses. The governments of the U.S. and Canada considered land a commodity of value that could be freely bought, owned and sold. The Ojibwe believed it was a fully shared resource, along with air, water and sunlight—despite having an understanding of "territory." At the time of the treaty councils, they could not conceive of separate land sales or exclusive land ownership. Consequently, today, in both Canada and the U.S., legal arguments in treaty rights and treaty interpretations often bring to light the differences in cultural understanding of treaty terms to come to a legal understanding of the treaty obligations.

In part because of its long trading alliance, the Ojibwe allied with the French against Great Britain and its colonists in the Seven Years' War (also called the French and Indian War). After losing the war in 1763, France was forced to cede its colonial claims to lands in Canada and east of the Mississippi River to Britain. After Pontiac's War and adjusting to British colonial rule, the Ojibwe allied with British forces against the United States in the War of 1812. They hoped a British victory could protect them against United States settlers' encroachment on their territory.

Following the war, the United States government tried to forcibly remove all the Ojibwe to Minnesota, west of the Mississippi River. The Ojibwe resisted, and there were violent confrontations. Several hundred Ojibwe died in the Sandy Lake Tragedy because the federal government failed to deliver fall annuity payments. The government attempted this in the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Through the efforts of Chief Buffalo and the rise of popular opinion in the U.S. against Ojibwe removal, the bands east of the Mississippi were allowed to return to reservations on ceded territory. A few families were removed to Kansas as part of the Potawatomi removal.

In British North America, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 following the Seven Years' War governed the cession of land by treaty or purchase. Subsequently, France ceded most of the land in Upper Canada to Great Britain. Even with the Jay Treaty signed between Great Britain and the United States following the American Revolutionary War, the newly formed United States still needed to uphold the treaty fully. As it was still preoccupied with war with France, Great Britain ceded to the United States much of the lands in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, parts of Illinois and Wisconsin, and northern Minnesota and North Dakota to settle the boundary of their holdings in Canada.

In 1807, the Ojibwe joined three other tribes, the Odawa, Potawatomi and Wyandot people, in signing the Treaty of Detroit. The agreement between the tribes and William Hull, representing the Michigan Territory, gave the United States a portion of today's Southeastern Michigan and a section of Ohio near the Maumee River. The tribes were able to retain small pockets of land in the territory.

The Battle of the Brule was an October 1842 battle between the La Pointe Band of Ojibwe Indians and a war party of Dakota Indians. The battle took place along the Brule River (Bois Brûlé) in what is today northern Wisconsin and resulted in a decisive victory for the Ojibwe.

In Canada, many of the land cession treaties the British made with the Ojibwe provided for their rights to continue hunting, fishing and gathering of natural resources after land sales. The government signed numbered treaties in northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. British Columbia had signed treaties in the late 20th century, and most areas have no. The government and First Nations continue negotiating treaty land entitlements and settlements. The courts are constantly reinterpreting the treaties because many are vague and difficult to apply in modern times. The numbered treaties were some of the most detailed treaties signed for their time. The Ojibwe Nation set the agenda and negotiated the first numbered treaties before they would allow the safe passage of many more British settlers to the prairies.

Ojibwe communities have a strong history of political and social activism. Long before contact, they were closely aligned with the Odawa and Potawatomi people in the Council of the Three Fires. From the 1870s to 1938, the Grand General Indian Council of Ontario attempted to reconcile multiple traditional models into one cohesive voice to exercise political influence over colonial legislation. In the West, 16 Plains Cree and Ojibwe bands formed the Allied Bands of Qu'Appelle in 1910 to redress concerns about the failure of the government to uphold Treaty 4's promises.

The Ojibwe have spiritual beliefs passed down by oral tradition under the Midewiwin teachings. These include a creation story and recounting the origins of ceremonies and rituals. Spiritual beliefs and rituals were fundamental to the Ojibwe because spirits guided them through life. Birch bark scrolls and petroforms were used to pass along knowledge and information and for ceremonies. Pictographs were also used for ceremonies.

The sweatlodge is still used during important ceremonies about the four directions when oral history is recounted. Teaching lodges are expected today to teach the next generations about the language and ancient ways of the past. The traditional ways, ideas, and teachings are preserved and practiced in such living ceremonies.

The modern dreamcatcher, adopted by the Pan-Indian Movement and New Age groups, originated in the Ojibwe "spider web charm," a hoop with woven string or sinew meant to replicate a spider's web, used as a protective charm for infants. According to Ojibwe legend, the protective charms originate with the Spider Woman, known as Asibikaashi, who cares for the children and the people on the land. As the Ojibwe Nation spread to the corners of North America, it became difficult for Asibikaashi to reach all the children. Hence, the mothers and grandmothers wove webs for the children, which had an apotropaic purpose and were not explicitly connected with dreams.

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