Lake Superior Chippewa

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History[edit | edit source]

Lake Superior is a special place for the Lake Superior Chippewa. According to tradition the Chippewa's migrated from the east coast to Lake Superior. After reaching the eastern shores of Lake Superior they may have agreed to distribute land among themselves. One branch moved to southern Michigan. They are the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan. They are also known as the Sac and Sauk.

Another branch moved west into what is now the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Included among them are the Menominee Indians. They also colonized northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. Either the Chippewa's from northern Wisconsin or southern Michigan, colonized southern Wisconsin.

Another branch moved to the northern shores of Lake Superior which the Chippewa call Gitchi Gami. They were not as numerous as the Chippewa's from the Lower Penisula of Michigan, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Their totems were largely non military but that changed after the whites invaded. Supposedly the Cree Indians lived north of the Chippewa's who lived north of Lake Superior. Hudson Bay Company kept details about the Indians in that region. They claimed the Cree did not use totems or clans. If that is correct it means the Cree are not Algonquian. All Algonquians used totems or clans. We do know the Swampy Cree or James Bay Cree and Woodland Cree, used totems or clans. The James Bay Cree are obviously Chippewa.

They did not migrate to the Lake Superior region in the 1500s. Ojibway authors from the 19th century wrote of the Chippewa's forcing their way east from the west. George Copway wrote that the Chippewa's from the Minnesota region, commenced to colonize the land east of Lake Superior and north of Lake Huron, around 1634 and 1635. They had to fight the Lakota who contested the Chippewa military advance which either means the Lakota lived between the Chippewa's of Minnesota and Chippewa's from Michigan, or the Lakota invaded from the south.

William W. Warren wrote that the Chippewa's waged a war against the Lakota of Minnesota in the early 17th century. Warren learned the Chippewa's counted one generation as being 40 years. Read his book carefully. Either the Chippewa's were forcing their way east from North Dakota or even Montana, west to Lake Superior, or an unknown event has been lost which could have provided the details of this Chippewa military advance to the east. Warren also wrote that the Chippewa's forced their way to the east from the west.

Of the Chippewa Districts, the Lake Superior Chippewa District may have been the oldest. On the west was the Pembina Band of Chippewa Indians District. To their northwest was the Saulteaux Indians District and to the west of the Pembina Chippewa's District was the Little Shell Band of Chippewa Indians, Montana District.

Throughout the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, the Lake Superior Chippewa's were constantly at war against the whites and their Indian allies. By the late 19th century and early 20th century, they had signed treaties with Canada and the United States, which ceded land and established Reservations.

Brief History[edit | edit source]

16th century:

First contact with the whites probably happened in Quebec. It was not peaceful. Ojibway leaders knew from prophecy that the whites had evil intentions. And following prophecy they did let the whites let it be known the intentions of the whites. They quickly realized the intentions of the whites were evil. In either the 1530s or 1540s, the Dutch and French established trading posts in Quebec and New York. They were destroyed and the whites forced to leave the area.

17th century:

Very early in the 17th century the white confederation invaded eastern North America. England had overthrown either a non white rule at England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales or a possible other scenario prevented England from invading the America's.. By the 1580s, England had been freed from the foe which controlled them. England quickly joined the other white nations who were invading the America's. They were the Dutch, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedes.

They formed alliances with non Algonquian Indians and launched a massive military campaign around 1629. From Florida to Quebec, the white confederation and their Indian allies had driven the eastern Chippewa's to near Lake Michigan. However, the Lake Superior Chippewa's were reinforced with large numbers of Chippewa soldiers from the west. They eventually drove the whites and their Indian allies back towards the Atlantic Coast.

By the 1660s, the white nations had agreed to merge with England. Back in Europe, the foe which had controlled England in the 16th century, was probably powerful enough to continue to flex their might in western Europe. The island of England was carefully fortified by the white confederation, who used the island as a military base to continue their invasion to the America's. France controlled southeastern Quebec, while England controlled New England to North Carolina. Spain controlled South Carolina to Florida. The region between Texas and Florida was controlled by each England, France, and Spain.

18th century:

Wars became more deadly as the 18th century progressed. In the first half of the 18th century, the Chippewa's kept the whites and their Indian allies confined along the coasts. By the 1760s, the whites led by England were forcing their way west. England commenced to build trading posts inland from Hudson Bay in 1774. After the Battle of Fallen Timbers, the leaders of the Lake Superior Chippewa agreed to accept peace and cede land.

19th century:

In 1811, the English invaded Indiana which started the War of 1812. The Lake Superior Chippewa could not defeat the whites. After the war they ceded more land. Large numbers of Lake Superior Chippewa followed prophecy and migrated to the north, west, and south. Many stayed in their original land around the Great Lakes including in New York State.

Reservations[edit | edit source]

Bois Forte (Nett Lake) Reservation

Grand Portage Reservation

Fond du Lac Reservation

Mille Lacs Reservation

Bad River Reservation

Red Cliff Reservation

Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation

Lac du Flambeau Reservation

St. Croix Reservation

Menominee Reservation

Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation

Sokaogan Reservation

Forest County Reservation

Ho-Chunk Reservation

Oneida Reservation (Wisconsin)

Hannahville Reservation

L'Anse Reservation

Ontonagon Reservation

Keweenaw Bay Reservation

Sault Ste. Marie Reservation

Little Traverse Bay Reservation

Grand Traverse Reservation

Little RIver Reservation

Isabelle Reservation

Huron Reservation

Pokagon Reservation

Allegany Reservation

Cattaraugas Reservation

Oil Springs Reservation

Oneida Reservation (New York)

Onondaga Reservation

Poospatuck Reservation

St. Regis Reservation

Shinnecock Reservation

Tonawanda Reservation

Tuscarora Reservation




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Chapleau 74A

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Gull Bay

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Long Lake 58


Constance Lake

Additional References to the History of the Tribe[edit | edit source]

Tribal Headquarters[edit | edit source]

Records[edit | edit source]

Treaties[edit | edit source]

Important Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]