Ojibwe / oʊ ˈ dʒ ɪ b w eɪ /, also known as Ojibwa / oʊ ˈ dʒ ɪ b w ə /, Ojibway or Otchipwe, is an indigenous language of North America of the Algonquian language family. The language is characterized by a series of dialects that have local names and frequently local writing systems.
Ojibwe is an indigenous language of the Algonquian language family spoken in Canada and the United States in the areas surrounding the Great Lakes, and westward onto the northern plains in both countries, as well as in northeastern Ontario and northwestern Quebec.
Chippewa (also known as Southwestern Ojibwa, Ojibwe, Ojibway, or Ojibwemowin) is an Algonquian language spoken from upper Michigan westward to North Dakota in the United States. It represents the southern component of the Ojibwe language. Its ISO-3 designation is "ciw".
The Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa, or Saulteaux are an Anishinaabe people of southern Canada and the northern Midwestern United States.In the United States, they have the fifth-largest population among Native American peoples, surpassed in number only by the Navajo, Cherokee, Choctaw and Sioux.
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Severn Ojibwe, also called Oji-Cree or Northern Ojibwa, and Anihshininiimowin in the language itself, is spoken in northern Ontario and northern Manitoba.Although there is a significant increment of vocabulary borrowed from several Cree dialects, Severn Ojibwe is a dialect of Ojibwe.
most of the Ojibwe people live in the United States. There are 77,940 mainline Ojibwe; 76,760 Saulteaux; and 8,770 Mississauga, organized in 125 bands. They live from western Quebec to eastern British Columbia. As of 2010, the US census says that there are 170,742 Ojibwe people. References
Ojibwe is an indigenous language of North America from the Algonquian language family.Ojibwe is one of the largest Native American languages north of Mexico in terms of number of speakers and is characterized by a series of dialects, some of which differ significantly.
- Terminology: Anishinaabe and Ojibwe
- Algonquian Linguistic Family
- Writing The Language
- Speaking The Language
- Notable Features
- Current State of The Language
Though many may use the terms Anishinaabe and Ojibwe interchangeably, they can have different meanings. Anishinaabe can describe various Indigenous peoples in North America. It can also mean the language group shared by the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples. Ojibwe, on the other hand, refers to a specific Anishinaabe nation. Anishinaabeg is the plural form of Anishinaabe and consequently, refers to many Anishinaabe people. Anishinaabemowin, the term often used to describe the language of the Ojibwe specifically, can also be used to describe a language spoken by other Indigenous peoples of North America. Ojibwemowin, sometimes used interchangeably with Anishinaabemowin, refers specifically to the language spoken by the Ojibwe people.
Anishinaabemowin is part of the Central Algonquian language family, which is a group of closely-related Indigenous languages (such as Odawa, Potawatomi, Cree, Menominee, Sauk, Fox and Shawnee) with similar sounds, words and features. The Central Algonquian language is part of the larger Algonquian language family, which spans from the Rocky Mountains (Blackfoot Confederacy territory) to the Eastern Seaboard (where Mi’kmaqis spoken).
Anishinaabemowin began as an orally transmitted language. Historically, there was a specialized form of symbol writing to communicate teachings sacred to the Ojibwe people. While Anishinaabeg continue to honour symbol writing, written forms of Anishinaabemowin using Roman orthography (i.e., the Latin alphabet, such as that used by the Englishlanguage) is the primary form of written communication. Christian priests and missionaries who traveled to Ojibwe territories were the first to write Anishinaabemowin using the Latin alphabet. (See also Indigenous Territory.) Slovenian Roman Catholic missionary Frederic Baraga actively learned Anishinaabemowin as a means of promoting the conversion of Indigenous people to Christianity. As a tool for fellow missionaries, Baraga authored the Dictionary of the Otchipwe Languagein 1853. Otchipwe (a misnomer of Ojibwe) is a basis for the term Chippewa. The writing systems employed by missionaries can best be described as folk-phonetic style. In 1840,...
Traditional knowledge holders share that the language was originally created by Nanaboozhoo(sometimes spelled Nanabozo, also called Wenaboozhoo and Nanabush) after Gizhe Manidoo gave him life, lowered him to the Earth, and gave him the responsibility to name everything in existence. By means of Nanaboozhoo’s task, Anishinaabemowin was born and spoken into existence. Elders often speak about the importance of Anishinaabemowin to Anishinaabe culture and society. In addition to routine communication, the language is essential in the officiating of Ojibwe ceremonies and the repatriationof sacred items as well as in providing a unique way of understanding the world. The survival of Anishinaabemowin is directly related to the survival of Anishinaabe identity and culture. Cultural protocols and understandings are built into Anishinaabemowin communication. For instance, the word boozhoo (“hello”) not only acknowledges the original spirit of Nanaboozhoo and guides relationships based upon re...
Verbs Anishinaabemowin is dominated by verbs. Concepts of life, process and action are woven into the fabric of the language. General categories of verbs used to express a thought in Anishinaabemowin include: 1. Verb animate intransitive (where a living subject is doing something/being a certain way) 2. Verb animate intransitive + object (where a living subject is doing something/being a certain way to a being or thing that remains vague and general) 3. Verb inanimate intransitive (where a non-living subject is doing something/being a certain way) 4. Verb transitive inanimate (where a subject is doing something/being a certain way to a non-living thing) 5. Verb transitive animates (where a subject is doing something/being a certain way to a living being) Genders There are also two “genders” of nouns: animate (living beings with agency) and inanimate (non-living things). Animate and inanimate are linguistic classifications. Depending on which style of noun is used, the verb used to c...
Anishinaabemowin is a considered an endangered language. Assimilationist policies and programs, such as the residential schoolsystem in Canada (and the boarding school system in the United States), have led to the decline of language use. However, there are efforts to revitalize the language. Immersion programs allow students to speak the language regularly. Ojibwe language and teacher education programs (such as those at Lakehead University, Algoma University, University of Manitoba and others) are also central to revitalization efforts, as are publications and print resources (such as the bilingual Oshkaabewis Native Journal), community and workplace language tables, and technology resources (such as video tutorials, webinars and mobile phone apps). Research has demonstrated that Indigenous peoples’ acquisition of traditional languages correlates to increased self-esteem and community well-being, among many other positive gains. In 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeauproposed an In...
- Traditional Life and Political Organization
- Spiritual Life
- Post-Contact Life
- Contemporary Life
The variety and fluid nature of Anishinaabe culture, and the geographical spread of Ojibwe people and communities, means that strictly defined terms are often misleading, or even inaccurate. One author refers to such issues as “an etymological labyrinth which surrounds the Ojibwe.” The Ojibwe are part of a larger cultural group of Indigenous peoples known as the Anishinaabeg, which also includes Odawa and Algonquin peoples. The Ojibwe language is part of the Algonquian language family and is also known as Anishinaabemowin, of which Odawa and Algonquinare dialects. As a result, the terms Anishinaabe and Ojibwe are often conflated. The term Ojibwe derives from Outchibou, the 17th-century name of a group living north of present-day Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. They were one of a series of closely related but distinct groups residing between northeastern Georgian Bay and eastern Lake Superior; European explorers and traders applied the term Ojibwe to this collection of groups. Those people...
The Ojibwe language, part of the Algonquian language family, is widely spoken in Canada. Also known as Anishinaabemowin, the language has many regional dialects and as of 2011, was spoken by more than 25,000 people. Dialects like Algonquin are less commonly spoken (approximately 2,400 speakers), while Oji-Cree (a mixture of Ojibwe and Cree) is spoken by more than 10,000 people. (See Indigenous Languages in Canada).
Before contact with Europeans, Ojibwe people subsisted by hunting, fishing and gathering. They resided largely in dome-shaped birchbark dwellings known as wigwams, and often made use of tipi-shaped dwellings. They wore animal-skin clothing — usually deer or moose hides — and travelled by birchbark canoe in warm weather and snowshoes in winter. Men were responsible for hunting large game, while women were responsible for tanning and processing hides into moccasins, leggings, breach cloths and dresses. Once European trade goods became common, Ojibwe people developed ornate beadwork to adorn their clothing. Gathering activities were largely communal, as the collection and preparation of maple sugar and wild rice are labour intensive. Maple sugar was a common seasoning, while wild rice was a staple for those who had ready access to it. Thousands of people would often convene at the site of large-scale fisheries to spear and net freshwater fish in the northern Great Lakes. These gatherin...
Ojibwe oral mythology is extensive and serves both moral and entertainment purposes. The character of Nanabozo, a shape shifter of varying gender, is both creator, arranger of the earth and a trickster. Nanabozo is common across Algonquian peoples, though it may be known by different names. Other figures like the Thunderbird, Great Serpent and Mishipeshu governed various realms of the natural world. Windigo, a man-eating monster who could only be killed by a shaman, was said to roam the winter forests and feast on the flesh of men. Ojibwe spiritual life was animistic, the natural world being inhabited by numerous spirits both good and evil, some of which required special treatment. The spirits that filled all life are known as the Manitou. Adolescent Ojibwe practiced spiritual quests, which produced visions and revealed guardian spirits after a period of isolation and fasting. Shamans cured the ill and performed Shaking Tent rites to communicate with spirits. After about 1700, an or...
The European fur trade profoundly affected the Ojibwe. Initially, they traded furs for French trade items with the Nipissing and Algonquin, but following the mid-17th-century dispersal of the Wendat and other neighbouring Algonquians, the Odawa and their Ojibwe allies became middlemen between European traders and Indigenous communities farther west. The Ojibwe participated in the occasional multi-community Feasts of the Dead at which furs and trade goods were distributed. The western expansion of the French fur trade and the establishment of the English Hudson’s Bay Companynear James Bay and Hudson Bay drew some Ojibwe into new areas, first as temporary trader-hunters, but later as permanent residents. Ojibwe moving north and west into traditional Cree territory often created blended communities. In some cases newcomers simply joined existing Cree communities, becoming known as Cree themselves, or established a blended Oji-Cree culture and identity. Between 1680 and 1800, four divis...
With the decline of traditional, subsistence ways of life, Ojibwe people became dependant on wage labour and government assistance for survival. In addition, Ojibwe people struggled with economic dependency, territorial encroachment and cultural dislocation brought about by residential schools. As local governance shifted from traditional models to those administered by theIndian Act, Ojibwe political autonomy diminished significantly. Nevertheless, Ojibwe people remain politically and culturally active. Art In the cultural sphere, the vibrant, pictograph-inspired Woodlands School of art, typified by the spiritual work of the late Norval Morrisseau, gained prominence for Anishinaabe artists in the 1970s and 1980s. Contemporary Anishinaabe artists have entrenched themselves in the mainstream of the international art community and often use traditional imagery in installations, performance, sculpture and painting to make overt political statements about contemporary Indigenous realiti...
It is difficult to estimate current the population of Ojibwe people living in Canada, as some people may identify as Ojibwe, but may not be registered with a specific First Nation. In terms of registered population, Ojibwe people (including Saulteaux and Mississauga) are among the most numerous in Canada. As of 2014, approximately 160,000 people make up about 200 First Nation bands. Eastern Woodlands Indigenous Peoples, and general articles under Indigenous Peoples in Canada.