Saturday, November 3, 2018

Harriet Bedell (1875-1969) , Episcopal Deaconess & Friend of Native Americans

Harriet Bedell 1875-1969 (Icon by Gay Pogue)

Harriet Bedell (1875-1969) , Episcopal Deaconess & Friend of Native Americans

Harriett Bedell, missionary and friend to the Seminole Indians of Florida, was born in Buffalo, New York on March 19, 1875. She was trained as a schoolteacher but was inspired several years later by an Episcopalian missionary who spoke at her church describing the many needs of missionary work. In 1906 she applied to, and was accepted by, the New York Training School for Deaconesses, where her one-year course of study included instruction in religious matters, missions, teaching, hygiene, and hospital nursing. Following her training she was sent as a missionary-teacher to the Cheyenne Indians at Whirlwind Mission in Oklahoma.

Bedell's duties at the Whirlwind Mission were many. She cared for the sick and the poor, organized social services for the tribe, performed the duties of the rector in his absence, and provided education for the women and children. She provided religious instruction, hoping to win the confidence of the Indians and convert them to Christianity.

In 1916 an Episcopal bishop requested that she consider an assignment in a remote area of Alaska. Saddened by the prospect of leaving Oklahoma, she nevertheless accepted her new assignment in Stevens Village, Alaska. While there, in 1922 she was finally made a deaconess in the church, instilling in her a new and profound dedication to her vocation. The mission at Stevens Village was moved to Tanana so that a boarding school funded by church members' contributions could be established for the children who could not travel in the bad winter weather. However, by 1931, funds were so scarce that Deaconess Bedell traveled to New York to plea for more contributions. Because of the Great Depression, there was little available money, and although the church paid off the school's existing debt, there was little reason for Bedell to return to Alaska.

Bedell was invited to visit a Seminole Indian reservation in southern Florida. Appalled by their living conditions, she began her campaign to improve the quality of life among the Mikasuki-Seminole Indians by living and working with them, not merely teaching them. She sought to revive the doll making and basket weaving skills which had become nearly extinct. She encouraged the incorporation of the intricate patchwork designs made by Indian women into articles of clothing for both women and men. Sales from the arts and crafts store at Blades Cross Mission helped to provide improved income for the Mikasuki-Seminoles.

Bedell emphasized health and education rather than religious conversion in her work with the Seminoles; their spiritual and physical comfort was more important to her than religious conversion, and her work and friendship with the Seminoles of Florida reflected those values.

from the Florida Memory Project

Friday, November 2, 2018

American Artist George Catlin (1796-1872) Seminole Chief Osceola (1804–1838)

George Catlin (1796 –1872) Seminole Chief Osceola (1804–1838) and Four Seminole Indians

Osceola (1804-1838, Asi-yahola in Creek), named Billy Powell at birth in Alabama, became an influential leader of the Seminole people in Florida. Of mixed parentage, including Creek, Scottish, African American, & English, he was considered born to his mother's people in the Creek matrilineal kinship system. He was reared by her in the Creek tradition. When he was a child, they migrated to Florida with other Red Stick refugees after their group's defeat in 1814 in the Creek Wars. There they became part of what was known as the Seminole people.

In 1836, Osceola led a small group of warriors in the Seminole resistance during the Second Seminole War, when the United States tried to remove the tribe from their lands in Florida to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. He became an adviser to Micanopy, the principal chief of the Seminole from 1825 to 1849. Osceola led the Seminole resistance to removal until he was captured on October 21, 1837, by deception, under a flag of truce, when he went to a site near Fort Peyton for peace talks.The United States first imprisoned him at Fort Marion in St. Augustine, then transported him to Fort Moultrie in Charleston, South Carolina. He died there a few months later of causes reported as an internal infection or malaria. Because of his renown, Osceola attracted visitors in prison, including renowned artist George Catlin, who painted perhaps the most well-known portrait of the Seminole leader.
George Catlin (1796 –1872) Seminole Chief Osceola (1804–1838)

Osceola was named Billy Powell at birth in 1804 in the Creek village of Talisi, now known as Tallassee, Alabama, in current Elmore County. The inhabitants of the town of Tallassee were an admixture of Native American, English, Irish, & Scottish ethnicity, while some were African-American blacks. The Creek were among the Southeastern Native Americans who held slaves. Powell was believed to have ancestors from all of these groups. His mother was Polly Coppinger, a mixed-race Creek woman, & his father was most likely William Powell, a Scottish trader.

Polly was also of Creek & European ancestry, as the daughter of Ann McQueen & Jose Coppinger. Because the Creek had a matri-lineal kinship system, Polly & Ann's children were all considered to be born into their mother's clan; they were reared by their mothers & their maternal male relatives as traditional Creek & gained their social status from their mother's people. Ann McQueen was also mixed-race Creek; her father, James McQueen, was Scottish. Ann was probably the sister or aunt of Peter McQueen, a prominent Creek leader & warrior. Like his mother, Billy Powell was raised in the Creek tribe.

Billy Powell's maternal grandfather, James McQueen, was a ship-jumping Scottish sailor who in 1716 became the first recorded white to trade with the Creek tribe in Alabama. He stayed in the area as a fur trader & married into the Creek tribe, becoming closely involved with this people. He was buried in 1811 at the Indian cemetery in Franklin, Alabama, near a Methodist Missionary Church for the Creek.

In 1814, after the Red Stick Creek were defeated by United States forces, Polly took Osceola & moved with other Creek refugees from Alabama to Florida, where they joined the Seminole. In adulthood, as part of the Seminole, Powell was given his name Osceola. This is an anglicized form of the Creek Asi-yahola; the combination of asi, the ceremonial black drink made from the yaupon holly, & yahola, meaning "shout" or "shouter."

In 1821, the United States acquired Florida from Spain, & more European-American settlers started moving in, encroaching on the Seminoles' territory. After early military skirmishes & the signing of the 1823 Treaty of Moultrie Creek, by which the US seized the northern Seminole lands, Osceola & his family moved with the Seminole deeper into the un-populated wilds of central & southern Florida.

As an adult, Osceola took 2 wives, as did some other high-ranking Creek & Seminole leaders. With them, he had at least 5 children. One of his wives was African American, & Osceola fiercely opposed the enslavement of free people.

Through the 1820s & the turn of the decade, American settlers kept up pressure on the US government to remove the Seminole from Florida to make way for their desired agricultural development. In 1832, a few Seminole chiefs signed the Treaty of Payne's Landing, by which they agreed to give up their Florida lands in exchange for lands west of the Mississippi River in Indian Territory. According to legend, Osceola stabbed the treaty with his knife, although there are no contemporary reports of this. Donald L. Fixico, an American Indian historian, says he made a research trip to the National Archives to see the original Treaty of Fort Gibson (also known as the Treaty of Payne's Landing), & that upon close inspection, he observed that it had "a small triangular hole shaped like the point of a knife blade."

Five of the most important Seminole chiefs, including Micanopy of the Alachua Seminole, did not agree to removal. In retaliation, the US Indian agent, Wiley Thompson, declared that those chiefs were deposed from their positions. As US relations with the Seminole deteriorated, Thompson forbade the sale of guns & ammunition to them. Osceola, a young warrior rising to prominence, resented this ban. He felt it equated the Seminole with slaves, who were forbidden by law to carry arms.

Thompson considered Osceola to be a friend & gave him a rifle. Osceola had a habit of barging into Thompson's office & shouting complaints at him. On one occasion Osceola quarreled with Thompson, who had the warrior locked up at Fort King for two nights until he agreed to be more respectful. In order to secure his release, Osceola agreed to sign the Treaty of Payne's Landing & to bring his followers into the fort. After his humiliating imprisonment, Osceola secretly prepared vengeance against Thompson.

On December 28, 1835, Osceola, with the same rifle Thompson gave him, killed the Indian agent. Osceola & his followers shot six others outside Fort King, while another group of Seminole ambushed & killed a column of US Army, more than 100 troops, who were marching from Fort Brooke to Fort King. Americans called this event the Dade Massacre. These nearly simultaneous attacks catalyzed the Second Seminole War with the United States.

On October 21, 1837, Osceola & 81 of his followers were captured by General Joseph Hernández on the orders of General Thomas Jesup, under a white flag of truce, when they went for peace talks to Fort Peyton near St. Augustine. He was initially imprisoned at Fort Marion in St. Augustine, before being transferred to Fort Moultrie on Sullivans Island, outside Charleston, South Carolina. Osceola's capture by deceit caused a national uproar. General Jesup's treacherous act & the administration were condemned by many congressional leaders & vilified by international press. Jesup suffered a loss of reputation that lasted for the rest of his life; his betrayal of the truce flag has been described as "one of the most disgraceful acts in American military history."

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Native American New York Mohawk Catherine Tekakwitha 1656-1680 Converts to Catholicism

Catherine Tekakwitha (1656-1680), Mohawk convert to Catholicism, sometimes know as “The Lily of the Mohawks,” was born either at the Mohawk “castle” (village) of the Turtle clan, Ossernenon, on the south side of the Mohawk River near present-day Auriesville, N.Y., or at neighboring castle of Kaghnuwage (Gandaouaga). Her name is also found as Tegakwita, Tegah-Kouita, or Tegakouita.
One of the oldest portraits of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha by father Claude Chauchetière around 1696
Her mother, a Christian Algonquin who had been taken captive at Three Rivers, Canada, by a raiding band of Mohawks, escaped slavery or death through marriage to a native warrior. Two children were born of this union, Tekakwitha and a brother. A smallpox epidemic of about 1660 carried away both parents and the boy. The orphaned Tekakwitha recovered, but her eyesight was badly impaired and her face remained pockmarked. Adopted by her paternal uncle, she learned the usages and practices of the Mohawks.

Repeated forays for the Mohawk warriors against the French and their Indian allies culminated the French counterinvasion in 1666, which devastated the Mohawk country, forcing the inhabitants of Kaghnuwage to build a new village, Caughnawaga (Gandaougue), a half-mile to the west of present Fonda, N.Y.

The Mohawks sued for peace, which the French granted on condition that the Mohawks permit Jesuit missionaries to preach the Gospel in their villages. Three missionaries arrived in 1667. They were accommodated for three days at Caughnawaga in the longhouse of Tekakwitha’s uncle, the “foremost captain” in the village, before setting out to visit the other Mokawk villages.

In 1669 preparations were made for the construction of a chapel, dedicated to St. Peter, in Caughnawaga. Despite the opposition of her uncle, Tekakwitha, during 1675, requested to be instructed in the Christian faith, and on Easter Sunday, Apr. 18, 1676, she received baptism in St. Peter’s chapel and was given the name Catherine (rendered in the Mohawk tongue as Kateri)

Many Mohawks, however, opposed the missionary effort, and Tekakwitha was subjected to threats and maltreatment because of her new faith. She was stoned for refusing to work in the corn fields on the Sabbath. She therefore determined to join a group of Christian Mohawks who had migrated to the mission of St. Francis Xavier at Sault St. Louis (Lachine Rapids) in Canada, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River.

In 1677, three Christian natives from that mission visited relatives at Caughnawaga, one of them a relative of Tekakwitha. Taking advantage of the temporary absence of her uncle, she left the Mohawk village and returned with the visitors to Sault St. Louis.

It was at Sault St. Louis that the religious and public life of Tekakwitha developed to such a degree that she was revered by all as a saintly woman. Contemporary biographies attest that this Indian maiden exercised every virtue in an extraordinary degree. Her love of God was manifested in frequent prayer and by daily visits to the mission chapel. By exterior conduct she revealed that he mind and heart centered upon God, seeing to do always what would be more pleasing to Him.
Statue of Kateri Tekakwitha at the shrine to her in Fonda, New York
To the astonishment of the missionaries, Tekakwitha determined not to marry and confirmed that resolve by a vow of virginity will full knowledge that she would become dependent upon others for her support. She practiced charity toward all without exception, prudence in recognizing that prayer and labor each had its appropriate time, voluntary fastings and penances.

She died at Sault St. Louis at the age of twenty-four and was buried east of where the Portage River empties into the St. Lawrence. Spontaneous reverence caused Christian Indians and neighboring French inhabitants of Montreal to visit the grave of Tekakwitha, where they sought her intercession with God for themselves. This reverence, continued through generations, induced the Catholic Church to authorize in 1932, an investigation of the “Cause of Catherine Tekakwitha” for possible beautification and canonization.

See Notable American Women edited by Edward T James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S Boyer, The Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1971

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

1630 John Winthrop Dreams of a City on a Hill

John Winthrop, “A Model of Christian Charity,”  John Winthrop delivered the following sermon before he & his fellow settlers reached New England. The sermon is famous largely for its use of the phrase “a city on a hill,” used to describe the expectation that the Massachusetts Bay colony would shine like an example to the world. But Winthrop’s sermon also reveals how he expected Massachusetts to differ from the rest of the world.

A Modell Hereof

God Almighty in his most holy & wise providence hath so disposed of the condition of mankind, as in all times some must be rich some poor, some high & eminent in power & dignity; others mean & in subjection.

The Reason hereof:

1st Reason.

First to hold conformity with the rest of His world, being delighted to show forth the glory of his wisdom in the variety & difference of the creatures, & the glory of His power in ordering all these differences for the preservation & good of the whole, & the glory of His greatness, that as it is the glory of princes to have many officers, so this great king will have many stewards, counting himself more honored in dispensing his gifts to man by man, than if he did it by his own immediate hands.

2nd Reason.

Secondly, that He might have the more occasion to manifest the work of his Spirit: first upon the wicked in moderating & restraining them, so that the rich & mighty should not eat up the poor, nor the poor & despised rise up against & shake off their yoke. Secondly, in the regenerate, in exercising His graces in them, as in the great ones, their love, mercy, gentleness, temperance etc., & in the poor & inferior sort, their faith, patience, obedience etc.

3rd Reason.

Thirdly, that every man might have need of others, & from hence they might be all knit more nearly together in the bonds of brotherly affection. From hence it appears plainly that no man is made more honorable than another or more wealthy etc., out of any particular & singular respect to himself, but for the glory of his Creator & the common good of the creature, Man. Therefore God still reserves the property of these gifts to Himself as Ezek. 16:17, He there calls wealth, His gold & His silver, & Prov. 3:9, He claims their service as His due, “Honor the Lord with thy riches,” etc. — All men being thus (by divine providence) ranked into two sorts, rich & poor; under the first are comprehended all such as are able to live comfortably by their own means duly improved; & all others are poor according to the former distribution….

Question: What rule must we observe & walk by in cause of community of peril?

Answer:

The same as before, but with more enlargement towards others & less respect towards ourselves & our own right. Hence it was that in the primitive Church they sold all, had all things in common, neither did any man say that which he possessed was his own. Likewise in their return out of the captivity, because the work was great for the restoring of the church & the danger of enemies was common to all, Nehemiah directs the Jews to liberality & readiness in remitting their debts to their brethren, & disposing liberally to such as wanted, & stand not upon their own dues which they might have demanded of them. Thus did some of our forefathers in times of persecution in England, & so did many of the faithful of other churches, whereof we keep an honorable remembrance of them; & it is to be observed that both in Scriptures & latter stories of the churches that such as have been most bountiful to the poor saints, especially in those extraordinary times & occasions, God hath left them highly commended to posterity…

Thus stands the cause between God & us. We are entered into covenant with Him for this work. We have taken out a commission. The Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles. We have professed to enterprise these & those accounts, upon these & those ends. We have hereupon besought Him of favor & blessing. Now if the Lord shall please to hear us, & bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath He ratified this covenant & sealed our commission, & will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it; but if we shall neglect the observation of these articles which are the ends we have propounded, and, dissembling with our God, shall fall to embrace this present world & prosecute our carnal intentions, seeking great things for ourselves & our posterity, the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us, & be revenged of such a people, & make us know the price of the breach of such a covenant.

Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, & to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man.We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of others’ necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience & liberality. We must delight in each other; make others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor & suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission & community in the work, as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, & delight to dwell among us, as His own people, & will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness & truth, than formerly we have been acquainted with. We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when He shall make us a praise & glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, “may the Lord make it like that of New England.” For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, & so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story & a by-word through the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God, & all professors for God’s sake. We shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants, & cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going.

And to shut this discourse with that exhortation of Moses, that faithful servant of the Lord, in his last farewell to Israel, Deut. 30. “Beloved, there is now set before us life & death, good & evil,” in that we are commanded this day to love the Lord our God, & to love one another, to walk in his ways & to keep his Commandments & his ordinance & his laws, & the articles of our Covenant with Him, that we may live & be multiplied, & that the Lord our God may bless us in the land whither we go to possess it. But if our hearts shall turn away, so that we will not obey, but shall be seduced, & worship other Gods, our pleasure & profits, & serve them; it is propounded unto us this day, we shall surely perish out of the good land whither we pass over this vast sea to possess it.

Therefore let us choose life,

that we & our seed may live,

by obeying His voice & cleaving to Him,

for He is our life & our prosperity.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

1709 John Lawson Encounters North American Indians

John Lawson Encounters North American Indians, 1709

John Lawson, A New Voyage to Carolina… (London: 1709), 25-28.  John Lawson took detailed notes on the various peoples he encountered during his exploration of the Carolinas. Lawson recorded many aspects of Native American life & even noticed the progress of disease as it swept through native communities.

Next Morning very early, we waded thro’ the Savanna, the Path lying there; & about ten a Clock came to a hunting Quarter, of a great many Santees; they made us all welcome; showing a great deal of Joy at our coming, giving us barbecued Turkeys, Bear’s Oil, & Venison.

Here we hired Santee Jack (a good Hunter, & a well-humored Fellow) to be our Pilot to the Congeree Indians; we gave him a Stroud-water-Blew, to make his Wife an Indian Petticoat, who went with her Husband. After two Hours Refreshment, we went on, & got that Day about twenty Miles; we lay by a small swift Run of Water, which was paved at the Bottom with a Sort of Stone much like to Tripoli, & so light, that I fancied it would precipitate in no Stream, but where it naturally grew. The Weather was very cold, the Winds holding Northerly. We made our selves as merry as we could, having a good Supper with the Scraps of the Venison we had given us by the Indians, having kill’s 3 Teal & a Possum, which Medley all together made a curious Ragoo.

This Day all of us had a Mind to have rested, but the Indian was much against it, alleging, That the Place we lay at, was not good to hunt in; telling us, if we would go on, by Noon, he would bring us to a more convenient Place; so we moved forwards, & about twelve a Clock came to the most amazing Prospect I had seen since I had been in Carolina; we travelled by a Swamp-side, which Swamp I believe to be no less than twenty Miles over, the other Side being as far as I could well discern, there appearing great Ridges of Mountains, bearing from us W.N. W. One Alp with a Top like a Sugar-loaf, advanced its Head above all the rest very considerably; the Day was very serene, which gave us the Advantage of seeing a long Way; these Mountains were clothed all over with Trees, which seemed to us to be very large Timbers.

At the Sight of this fair Prospect, we stayed all Night; our Indian going about half an Hour before us, had provided three fat Turkeys e’er we got up to him.

The Swamp I now spoke of, is not a miry Bog, as others generally are, but you go down to it thro’ a steep Bank, at the Foot of which, begins this Valley, where you may go dry for perhaps 200 Yards, then you meet with a small Brook or Run of Water, about 2 or 3 Foot deep, then dry Land for such another Space, so another Brook, thus continuing. The Land in this Percoarson, or Valley, being extraordinary rich, & the Runs of Water well stored with Fowl. It is the Head of one of the Branches of Santee-River, but a farther Discovery Time would not permit; only one Thing is very remarkable, there growing all over this Swamp, a tall, lofty Bay-tree, but is not the same as in England, these being in their Verdure all the Winter long; which appears here, when you stand on the Ridge, (where our Path lay) as if it were one pleasant, green Field, & as even as a Bowling-green to the Eye of the Beholder; being hemmed in on one Side with these Ledges of vast high Mountains.

Viewing the Land here, we found an extraordinary rich, black Mold, & some of a Copper-color, both Sorts very good; the Land in some Places is much burthened with Iron, Stone, here being great Store of it, seemingly very good: The eviling Springs, which are many in these Parts. issuing out of the Rocks, which Water we drank of, it coloring the Excrements of Travellers (by its chalybid Quality) as black as a Coal. When we were all asleep, in the Beginning of the Night, we were awakened with the dismal’s & most hideous Noise that ever pierced my Ears: This sudden Surprise incapacitated us of guessing what this threatening Noise might proceed from; but our Indian Pilot (who knew these Parts very well) acquainted us, that it was customary to hear such Music along that Swamp-side, there being endless Numbers of Panthers, Tigers, Wolves, & other Beasts of Prey, which take this Swamp for their Abode in the Day, coming in whole Droves to hunt the Deer in the Night, making this frightful Ditty ’till Day appears, then all is still as in other Places.

The next Day it proved a small drizzly Rain, which is rare, there happening not the tenth Part of Foggy falling Weather towards these Mountains, as visits those Parts. Near the Sea-board, the Indian killed 15 Turkeys this Day; there coming out of the Swamp, (about Sun-rising) Flocks of these Fowl, containing several hundreds in a Gang, who feed upon the Acorns, it being most Oak that grow in these Woods. These are but very few Pines in those Quarters.

Early the next Morning, we set forward for the Congeree-Indians, parting with that delicious Prospect. By the Way, our Guide killed more Turkeys, & two Polcats, which he eat, esteeming them before fat Turkeys. Some of the Turkeys which we eat, whilst we stayed there, I believe, weighed no less than 40 pounds.

The Land we passed over this Day, was most of it good, & the worst passable. At Night we killed a Possum, being cloyed with Turkeys, made a Dish of that, which tasted much between young Pork & Veal; their Fat being as white as any I ever saw. Our Indian having this Day killed good Store of Provision with his Gun, they being curious Artists in managing a Gun, to make it carry either Ball, or Shot, true. When they have bought a Piece, & find it to shoot any Ways crooked, they take the Barrel out of the Stock, cutting a Notch in a Tree, wherein they set it straight, sometimes-shooting away above 100 Loads of Ammunition, before they bring the Gun to shoot according to their Mind. We took up our Quarters by a Fish-pond-side; the Pits in the Woods that stand full of Water, naturally breed Fish in them, in great Quantities. We cooked our Supper, but having neither Bread, or Salt, our fat Turkeys began to be loathsome to us, although’ we were never wanting of a good Appetite, yet a Continuance of one Diet, made us weary.

The next Morning, Santee Jack told us, we should reach the Indian Settlement betimes that Day; about Noon, we passed by several fair Savanna’s, very rich & dry; seeing great Copses of many Acres that bore nothing but Bushes, about the Bigness of Box-trees; which (in the Season) afford great Quantities of small Black-berries, very pleasant Fruit, & much like to our Blues, or Huckle-berries, that grow on Heaths in England. Hard by the Savanna’s we found the Town, where we halted; there was not above one Man left with the Women, the rest being gone a Hunting for a Feast. The Women were very busily engaged in Gaming: The Name or Grounds of it, I could not learn, though’ I looked on above two Hours. Their Arithmetic was kept with a Heap of Indian Grain. When their Play was ended, the King, or Cassetta’s Wife, invited us into her Cabin. The Indian Kings always entertaining Travellers, either English, or Indian; taking it as a great Affront, if they pass by their Cabins, & take up their Quarters at any other Indian’s House. The Queen set Victuals before us, which good Compliment they use generally as soon as you come under their Roof.

The Town consists not of above a dozen Houses, they having other stragling Plantations up & down the Country, & are seated upon a small Branch of Santee River. Their Place hath curious dry Marshes, & Savanna’s adjoining to it, & would prove an exceeding thriving Range for Cattle, & Hogs, provided the English were seated thereon. Besides, the Land is good for Plantations.

These Indians are a small People, having lost much of their former Numbers, by intestine Broils; but most by the Small-pox, which hath often visited them, sweeping away whole Towns; occasioned by the immoderate Government of themselves in their Sickness; as I have mentioned before, treating of the Sewees. Neither do I know any Savages that have traded with the English, but what have been great Losers by this Distemper.

Friday, October 26, 2018

1641 A North American Gaspesian Indian Defends His Way of Life

Crestien Le Clercq, New Relation of Gaspesia: With the Customs and Religion of the Gaspesian Indians, William F. Ganong, ed. and trans. Toronto: 1910.  Chrestien Le Clercq traveled to New France as a missionary, but found that many Native Americans were not interested in adopting European cultural practices. In this document, LeClercq records the words of a Gaspesian Indian who explained why he believed that his way of life was superior to Le Clercq’s.

… the Indians esteem their camps as much as, and even more than, they do the most superb and commodious of our houses. To this they testified one day to some of our gentlemen of Isle Percée, who, having asked me to serve them as interpreter in a visit which they wished to make to these Indians in order to make the latter understand that it would be very much more advantageous for them to live and to build in our fashion, were extremely surprised when the leading Indian, who had listened with great patience to everything I had said to him on behalf of these gentlemen, answered me in these words :

I am greatly astonished that the French have so little cleverness, as they seem to exhibit in the matter of which thou hast just told me on their behalf, in the effort to persuade us to convert our poles, our barks, and our wigwams into those houses of stone and of wood which are tall and lofty, according to their account, as these trees. Very well! But why now, do men of five to six feet in height need houses which are sixty to eighty? For, in fact, as thou knowest very well thyself, Patriarch—do we not find in our own all the conveniences and the advantages that you have with yours, such as reposing, drinking, sleeping, eating, and amusing ourselves with our friends when we wish? This is not all, my brother, hast thou as much ingenuity and cleverness as the Indians, who carry their houses and their wigwams with them so that they may lodge wheresoever they please, independently of any seignior whatsoever? Thou art not as bold nor as stout as we, because when thou goest on a voyage thou canst not carry upon thy shoulders thy buildings and thy edifices. Therefore it is necessary that thou prepares as many lodgings as thou makest changes of residence, or else thou lodgest in a hired house which does not belong to thee. As for us, we find ourselves secure from all these inconveniences, and we can always say, more truly than thou, that we are at home everywhere, because we set up our wigwams with ease wheresoever we go, and without asking permission of anybody. Thou reproachest us, very inappropriately, that our country is a little hell in contrast with France, which thou comparest to a terrestrial paradise, inasmuch as it yields thee, so thou safest, every kind of provision in abundance. Thou sayest of us also that we are the most miserable and most unhappy of all men, living without religion, without manners, without honour, without social order, and, in a word, without any rules, like the beasts in our woods and our forests, lacking bread, wine, and a thousand other comforts which thou hast in superfluity in Europe. Well, my brother, if thou dost not yet know the real feelings which our Indians have towards thy country and towards all thy nation, it is proper that I inform thee at once. I beg thee now to believe that, all miserable as we seem in thine eyes, we consider ourselves nevertheless much happier than thou in this, that we are very content with the little that we have; and believe also once for all, I pray, that thou deceivest thyself greatly if thou thinkest to persuade us that thy country is better than ours.For if France, as thou sayest, is a little terrestrial paradise, art thou sensible to leave it? And why abandon wives, children, relatives, and friends? Why risk thy life and thy property every year, and why venture thyself with such risk, in any season whatsoever, to the storms and tempests of the sea in order to come to a strange and barbarous country which thou considerest the poorest and least fortunate of the world? Besides, since we are wholly convinced of the contrary, we scarcely take the trouble to go to France, because we fear, with good reason, lest we find little satisfaction there, seeing, in our own experience, that those who are natives thereof leave it every year in order to enrich themselves on our shores. We believe, further, that you are also incomparably poorer than we, and that you are only simple journeymen, valets, servants, and slaves, all masters and grand captains though you may appear, seeing that you glory in our old rags and in our miserable suits of beaver which can no longer be of use to us, and that you find among us, in the fishery for cod which you make in these parts, the wherewithal to comfort your misery and the poverty which oppresses you. As to us, we find all our riches and all our conveniences among ourselves, without trouble and without exposing our lives to the dangers in which you find yourselves constantly through your long voyages. And, whilst feeling compassion for you in the sweetness of our repose, we wonder at the anxieties and cares which you give yourselves night and day in order to load your ship. We see also that all your people live, as a rule, only upon cod which you catch among us. It is everlastingly nothing but cod—cod in the morning, cod at midday, cod at evening, and always cod, until things come to such a pass that if you wish some good morsels, it is at our expense; and you are obliged to have recourse to the Indians, whom you despise so much, and to beg them to go a-hunting that you may be regaled. Now tell me this one little thing, if thou hast any sense: Which of these two is the wisest and happiest—he who labours without ceasing and only obtains, and that with great trouble, enough to live on, or he who rests in comfort and finds all that he needs in the pleasure of hunting and fishing? It is true, that we have not always had the use of bread and of wine which your France produces; but, in fact, before the arrival of the French in these parts, did not the Gaspesians live much longer than now? And if we have not any longer among us any of those old men of a hundred and thirty to forty years, it is only because we are gradually adopting your manner of living, for experience is making it very plain that those of us live longest who, despising your bread, your wine, and your brandy, are content with their natural food of beaver, of moose, of waterfowl, and fish, in accord with the custom of our ancestors and of all the Gaspesian nation. Learn now, my brother, once for all, because I must open to thee my heart: there is no Indian who does not consider himself infinitely more happy and more powerful than the French.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

1637 Thomas Morton on New England's Native Americans' Respect for their Elders

Seal of the Massachusetts Bay Colony

New English Canaan or New Canaan. Written by Thomas Morton
Printed at Amsterdam by Jacob Fredericck Stam In the Yeare 1637.

Of their Reverence, and respect to age.

It is a thing to be admired, and indeede made a president, that a Nation yet uncivilizied should more respect age then some nations civilized, since there are so many precepts both of divine and humane writers extant to instruct more Civill Nations: in that particular, wherein they excell, the younger are allwayes obedient unto the elder people, and at their commaunds in every respect without grummbling; in all councels, (as therein they are circumspect to do their acciones by advise and councell, and not rashly or inconsiderately,) the younger mens opinion shall be heard, but the old mens opinion and councell imbraced and followed: besides, as the elder feede and provide for the younger in infancy, so doe the younger, after being growne to yeares of manhood, provide for those that be aged: and in distribution of Acctes the elder men are first served by their dispensator; and their counsels (especially if they be powahs) are esteemed as oracles amongst the younger Natives.

The consideration of these things, mee thinkes, should reduce some of our irregular young people of civilized Nations, when this story shall come to their knowledge, to better manners, and make them ashamed of their former error in this kinde, and to become hereafter more duetyfull; which I, as a friend, (by observation having found,) have herein recorded for that purpose.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

George Catlin (1796 –1872) Ojibbeway Indians in Paris

George Catlin (1796 –1872) Ojibbeway Indians in Paris

According to Ojibwe oral history & from recordings in birch bark scrolls, the Ojibwe originated from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River on the Atlantic coast of what is now Quebec. They traded widely with other Native Americans across the continent for thousands of years as they migrated, & knew of the canoe routes to move north, west to east, & 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 bounded groups & tried to identify those they encountered.

According to Ojibwe oral history, 7 great miigis (radiant/iridescent) beings appeared to them in the Waabanakiing (Land of the Dawn, i.e., Eastern Land) to teach them the mide way of life. One of the 7 great miigis beings was too spiritually powerful & killed the people in the Waabanakiing, when they were in its presence. The 6 great miigis beings remained to teach, while the one returned into the ocean. The 6 great miigis beings established doodem (clans) for people in the east, symbolized by animal, fish or bird species. The five original Anishinaabe doodem were the Wawaazisii (Bullhead), Baswenaazhi (Echo-maker, i.e., Crane), Aan'aawenh (Pintail Duck), Nooke (Tender, i.e., Bear) & Moozoonsii (Little Moose), then these six miigis beings returned into the ocean as well. If the 7th miigis being 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 further 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, which was confirmed with miigis shells (i.e., cowry shells). After receiving assurance from their "Allied Brothers" (i.e., Mi'kmaq) & "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, & then to the Great Lakes.

The 1st of the smaller Turtle Islands was Mooniyaa, where Mooniyaang (present-day Montreal) developed. The "second stopping place" was in the vicinity of 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 6 groups, of which the Ojibwe was one.

The first significant new Ojibwe culture-center was their "4th stopping place" on Manidoo Minising (Manitoulin Island). Their first new political-center was referred to as their "5th 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, & the "southern branch", along its south shore.

As the people continued to migrate westward, the "northern branch" divided into a "westerly group" & a "southerly group". The "southern branch" & the "southerly group" of the "northern branch" came together at their "sixth stopping place" on Spirit Island located in the Saint Louis River estuary at the western end of Lake Superior. (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 2nd major settlement, referred to as their "7th 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, & 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.

Interaction with Europeans

The first written 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 & voyageurs), the Ojibwe gained guns, began to use European goods, & began to dominate their traditional enemies, the Lakota & Fox to their west & south. They drove the Sioux from the Upper Mississippi region to the area of the present-day Dakotas, & forced the Fox down from northern Wisconsin. The latter allied with the Sauk for protection.

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

The Ojibwe (Chippewa) were part of a long-term alliance with the Anishinaabe Ottawa & 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, & the Sioux to the west. The Ojibwa stopped the Iroquois advance into their territory near Lake Superior in 1662. Then they formed an alliance with other tribes such as the Huron & the Ottawa who had been displaced by the Iroquois invasion. Together they launched a massive counter attack against the Iroquois & drove them out of Michigan & 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 & Georgian Bay.

Often, treaties known as "Peace & Friendship Treaties" were made to establish community bonds between the Ojibwe & the European settlers. These established the groundwork for cooperative resource-sharing between the Ojibwe & the settlers. The United States & Canada viewed later treaties offering land cessions as offering territorial advantages. The Ojibwe did not understand the land cession terms in the same way because of the cultural differences in understanding the uses of land. The governments of the US & Canada considered land a commodity of value that could be freely bought, owned & sold.

The Ojibwe believed the land was a fully shared resource, along with air, water & sunlight—despite having an understanding of "territory". At the time of the treaty councils, they could not conceive of separate land sales or exclusive ownership of land. Consequently, even today, in both Canada & the US, legal arguments in treaty-rights & treaty interpretations often bring to light the differences in cultural understanding of treaty terms to come to legal understanding of the treaty obligations.

In part due to its long trading alliance, the Ojibwe allied with the French against Great Britain & its colonists in the Seven Years' War (also called the French & Indian War). After losing the war in 1763, France was forced to cede its colonial claims to lands in Canada & east of the Mississippi River to Britain. After Pontiac's War & adjusting to British colonial rule, the Ojibwe allied with British forces & against the United States in the War of 1812. They had hoped that 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, & there were violent confrontations. In the Sandy Lake Tragedy, several hundred Ojibwe died because of the federal government's failure to deliver fall annuity payments. Through the efforts of Chief Buffalo & the rise of popular opinion in the US 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.

Plains Ojibwe Chief Sha-có-pay (The Six). In addition to the northern & eastern woodlands, Ojibwe people also lived on the prairies of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, North Dakota, western Minnesota & Montana.
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 & the United States following the American Revolutionary War, the newly formed United States did not fully uphold the treaty. As it was still preoccupied by war with France, Great Britain ceded to the United States much of the lands in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, parts of Illinois & Wisconsin, & northern Minnesota & North Dakota to settle the boundary of their holdings in Canada.

In 1807, the Ojibwe joined 3 other tribes, the Odawa, Potawatomi & Wyandot people, in signing the Treaty of Detroit. The agreement, between the tribes & William Hull, representing the Michigan Territory, gave the United States a portion of today's Southeastern Michigan & a section of Ohio near the Maumee River. The tribes were able to retain small pockets of land in the territory.

During its Indian Removal of the 1830s, the US government attempted to relocate tribes from the east to the west of the Mississippi River as the white pioneers increasingly migrated west. By the late 19th century, the government policy was to move tribes onto reservations within their territories. The government attempted to do this to the Anishinaabe in the Keweenaw Peninsula in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The Ojibwe live in groups (otherwise known as "bands"). Most Ojibwe, except for the Great Plains bands, lived a sedentary lifestyle, engaging in fishing & hunting to supplement the women's cultivation of numerous varieties of maize & squash, & the harvesting of manoomin (wild rice). Their typical dwelling was the wiigiwaam (wigwam), built either as a waginogaan (domed-lodge) or as a nasawa'ogaan (pointed-lodge), made of birch bark, juniper bark & willow saplings.

They developed a form of pictorial writing, used in religious rites of the Midewiwin & recorded on birch bark scrolls & possibly on rock. The many complex pictures on the sacred scrolls communicate much historical, geometrical, & mathematical knowledge. The use of petroforms, petroglyphs, & pictographs was common throughout the Ojibwe traditional territories. Petroforms & medicine wheels were a way to teach the important concepts of 4 directions & astronomical observations about the seasons, & to use as a memorizing tool for certain stories & beliefs.

Ceremonies also used the miigis shell (cowry shell), which is found naturally in distant coastal areas. Their use of such shells demonstrates there was a vast trade network across the continent at some time. The use & trade of copper across the continent has also been proof of a large trading network that took place for thousands of years, as far back as the Hopewell tradition. Certain types of rock used for spear & arrow heads were also traded over large distances.

During the summer months, the people attend jiingotamog for the spiritual & niimi'idimaa for a social gathering (pow-wows or "pau waus") at various reservations in the Anishinaabe-Aki (Anishinaabe Country). Many people still follow the traditional ways of harvesting wild rice, picking berries, hunting, making medicines, & making maple sugar. Many of the Ojibwe take part in sun dance ceremonies across the continent. The sacred scrolls are kept hidden away until those who are worthy & respect them are given permission to see & interpret them properly.

The Ojibwe would not bury their dead in a burial mound. Many erect a jiibegamig or a "spirit-house" over each mound. A traditional burial mound would typically have a wooden marker, inscribed with the deceased's doodem (clan sign). Because of the distinct features of these burials, Ojibwe graves have been often looted by grave robbers.

As with various other North American peoples, the Ojibwe culture includes a third gender. Ojibwe Two-Spirit women take on men's roles, classified as either "Iron Woman" or "Half Sky". Generally, two-spirit men practiced Shamanism & it was taboo for women to take on this role, but a two-spirit following this path was called an Iron Woman. The Half Sky two-spirit would be physically good at a man's trade (like hunting). Also, there is an instance when a wife becomes a widow & takes on her husband's manly deeds; this woman is called a "Woman Covered All Over". (Landes 153, 176, 178-179, & Merriam- Webster Dictionary).

Several Ojibwe bands in the United States cooperate in the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, which manages the treaty hunting & fishing rights in the Lake Superior-Lake Michigan areas. The commission follows the directives of U.S. agencies to run several wilderness areas. Some Minnesota Ojibwe tribal councils cooperate in the 1854 Treaty Authority, which manages their treaty hunting & fishing rights in the Arrowhead Region. In Michigan, the Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority manages the hunting, fishing & gathering rights about Sault Ste. Marie, & the resources of the waters of lakes Michigan & Huron. In Canada, the Grand Council of Treaty No. 3 manages the Treaty 3 hunting & fishing rights related to the area around Lake of the Woods.

Evolution of the Kinship & Clan system

Traditionally, the Ojibwe had a patrilineal system, in which children were considered born to the father's clan. For this reason, children with French or English fathers were considered outside the clan & Ojibwe society unless adopted by an Ojibwe male. They were sometimes referred to as "white" because of their fathers, regardless if their mothers were Ojibwe, as they had no official place in the Ojibwe society. The people would shelter the woman & her children, but they did not have the same place in the culture as children born to Ojibwe fathers.

Ojibwe understanding of kinship is complex, & includes not only the immediate family but also the extended family. It is considered a modified bifurcate merging kinship system. As with any bifurcate-merging kinship system, siblings generally share the same kinship term with parallel cousins because they are all part of the same clan. The modified system allows for younger siblings to share the same kinship term with younger cross-cousins. Complexity wanes further from the speaker's immediate generation, but some complexity is retained with female relatives. For example, ninooshenh is "my mother's sister" or "my father's sister-in-law"—i.e., my parallel-aunt, but also "my parent's female cross-cousin". Great-grandparents & older generations, as well as great-grandchildren & younger generations, are collectively called aanikoobijigan. This system of kinship reflects the Anishinaabe philosophy of interconnectedness & balance among all living generations, as well as of all generations of the past & of the future.

The Ojibwe people were divided into a number of odoodeman (clans; singular: doodem) named primarily for animals & birds totems (pronounced doodem). The five original totems were Wawaazisii (Bullhead), Baswenaazhi ("Echo-maker", i.e., Crane), Aan'aawenh (Pintail Duck), Nooke ("Tender", i.e., Bear) & Moozwaanowe ("Little" Moose-tail). The Crane totem was the most vocal among the Ojibwe, & the Bear was the largest – so large, that it was sub-divided into body parts such as the head, the ribs & the feet. Each clan had certain responsibilities among the people. People had to marry a spouse from a different clan.

Traditionally, each band had a self-regulating council consisting of leaders of the communities' clans, or odoodemaan. The band was often identified by the principal doodem. In meeting others, the traditional greeting among the Ojibwe people is, "What is your 'doodem'?" ("Aaniin gidoodem?" or "Awanen gidoodem?") The response allows the parties to establish social conduct by identifying as family, friends or enemies. Today, the greeting has been shortened to "Aanii". Pronounced; (Ah-nee)

Monday, October 22, 2018

1637 Thomas Morton on New England's Native Americans' Childbearing

Seal of the Massachusetts Bay Colony

New English Canaan or New Canaan. Written by Thomas Morton
Printed at Amsterdam by Jacob Fredericck Stam In the Yeare 1637.

Of their Child-bearing, and delivery, and what manner of persons they are.

The women of this Country are not suffered to be used for procreation untill the ripenesse of their age, at which time they weare a redd cap made of lether, in forme like to our flat caps, and this they weare for the space of 12 moneths, for all men to take notice of them that have any minde to a wife; and then it is the custome of some of their Sachems or Lords of the territories, to have the first say or maidenhead of the females. Very apt they are to be with childe, and very laborious when they beare children; yea, The women big with child very laborious. when they are as great as they can be: yet in that case they neither forbeare laboure, nor travaile; I have seene them in that plight with burthens at their backs enough to load a horse; yet doe they not miscarry, but have a faire delivery, and a quick: their women are very good midwifes, and the women very lusty after delivery, and in a day or two will travell or trudge about. Their infants are borne with haire on their heads, and are of complexion white as our nation; but their mothers in their infancy Children bathed to staine the skinne. make a bath of Wallnut leaves, huskes of Walnuts, and such things as will staine their skinne for ever, wherein they dip and washe them to make them tawny; the coloure of their haire is black, and their eyes black. These infants are carried at their mothers backs by the help of a cradle made of a board forket at both ends, whereon the childe is fast bound and wrapped in furres; his knees thrust up towards his bellie, because they may be the more usefull for them when he sitteth, which is as a dogge does on his bumme: and this cradle surely preserues them better then the cradles of our nation, for as much as we finde them well proportioned, not any of them crooked backed or wry legged: and to give their charracter in a worde, they are as proper men and women for feature and limbes as can be found, for flesh and bloud as active: longe handed they are, (I never sawe a clunchfisted Salvadg amongst them all in my time.) The colour of their eies being so generally black made a Salvage, that had a younge infant whose eies were gray, shewed him to us, and said they were English mens eies; I tould the Father that his sonne was nan weeteo, which is a bastard; hee replied titta Cheshetue squaa, which is, hee could not tell, his wife might play the whore; and this childe the father desired might have an English name, because of the litenesse of his eies, which his father had in admiration because of novelty amongst their nation.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

George Catlin (1796 –1872) Ojibbeway Indians

George Catlin (1796 –1872) Ojibbeway Indians

According to Ojibwe oral history & from recordings in birch bark scrolls, the Ojibwe originated from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River on the Atlantic coast of what is now Quebec. They traded widely with other Native Americans across the continent for thousands of years as they migrated, & knew of the canoe routes to move north, west to east, & 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 bounded groups & tried to identify those they encountered.

According to Ojibwe oral history, 7 great miigis (radiant/iridescent) beings appeared to them in the Waabanakiing (Land of the Dawn, i.e., Eastern Land) to teach them the mide way of life. One of the 7 great miigis beings was too spiritually powerful & killed the people in the Waabanakiing, when they were in its presence. The 6 great miigis beings remained to teach, while the one returned into the ocean. The 6 great miigis beings established doodem (clans) for people in the east, symbolized by animal, fish or bird species. The five original Anishinaabe doodem were the Wawaazisii (Bullhead), Baswenaazhi (Echo-maker, i.e., Crane), Aan'aawenh (Pintail Duck), Nooke (Tender, i.e., Bear) & Moozoonsii (Little Moose), then these six miigis beings returned into the ocean as well. If the 7th miigis being 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 further 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, which was confirmed with miigis shells (i.e., cowry shells). After receiving assurance from their "Allied Brothers" (i.e., Mi'kmaq) & "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, & then to the Great Lakes.

The 1st of the smaller Turtle Islands was Mooniyaa, where Mooniyaang (present-day Montreal) developed. The "second stopping place" was in the vicinity of 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 6 groups, of which the Ojibwe was one.

The first significant new Ojibwe culture-center was their "4th stopping place" on Manidoo Minising (Manitoulin Island). Their first new political-center was referred to as their "5th 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, & the "southern branch", along its south shore.

As the people continued to migrate westward, the "northern branch" divided into a "westerly group" & a "southerly group". The "southern branch" & the "southerly group" of the "northern branch" came together at their "sixth stopping place" on Spirit Island located in the Saint Louis River estuary at the western end of Lake Superior. (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 2nd major settlement, referred to as their "7th 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, & 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.

Interaction with Europeans

The first written 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 & voyageurs), the Ojibwe gained guns, began to use European goods, & began to dominate their traditional enemies, the Lakota & Fox to their west & south. They drove the Sioux from the Upper Mississippi region to the area of the present-day Dakotas, & forced the Fox down from northern Wisconsin. The latter allied with the Sauk for protection.

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

The Ojibwe (Chippewa) were part of a long-term alliance with the Anishinaabe Ottawa & 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, & the Sioux to the west. The Ojibwa stopped the Iroquois advance into their territory near Lake Superior in 1662. Then they formed an alliance with other tribes such as the Huron & the Ottawa who had been displaced by the Iroquois invasion. Together they launched a massive counter attack against the Iroquois & drove them out of Michigan & 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 & Georgian Bay.

Often, treaties known as "Peace & Friendship Treaties" were made to establish community bonds between the Ojibwe & the European settlers. These established the groundwork for cooperative resource-sharing between the Ojibwe & the settlers. The United States & Canada viewed later treaties offering land cessions as offering territorial advantages. The Ojibwe did not understand the land cession terms in the same way because of the cultural differences in understanding the uses of land. The governments of the US & Canada considered land a commodity of value that could be freely bought, owned & sold.

The Ojibwe believed the land was a fully shared resource, along with air, water & sunlight—despite having an understanding of "territory". At the time of the treaty councils, they could not conceive of separate land sales or exclusive ownership of land. Consequently, even today, in both Canada & the US, legal arguments in treaty-rights & treaty interpretations often bring to light the differences in cultural understanding of treaty terms to come to legal understanding of the treaty obligations.

In part due to its long trading alliance, the Ojibwe allied with the French against Great Britain & its colonists in the Seven Years' War (also called the French & Indian War). After losing the war in 1763, France was forced to cede its colonial claims to lands in Canada & east of the Mississippi River to Britain. After Pontiac's War & adjusting to British colonial rule, the Ojibwe allied with British forces & against the United States in the War of 1812. They had hoped that 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, & there were violent confrontations. In the Sandy Lake Tragedy, several hundred Ojibwe died because of the federal government's failure to deliver fall annuity payments. Through the efforts of Chief Buffalo & the rise of popular opinion in the US 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.

Plains Ojibwe Chief Sha-có-pay (The Six). In addition to the northern & eastern woodlands, Ojibwe people also lived on the prairies of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, North Dakota, western Minnesota & Montana.
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 & the United States following the American Revolutionary War, the newly formed United States did not fully uphold the treaty. As it was still preoccupied by war with France, Great Britain ceded to the United States much of the lands in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, parts of Illinois & Wisconsin, & northern Minnesota & North Dakota to settle the boundary of their holdings in Canada.

In 1807, the Ojibwe joined 3 other tribes, the Odawa, Potawatomi & Wyandot people, in signing the Treaty of Detroit. The agreement, between the tribes & William Hull, representing the Michigan Territory, gave the United States a portion of today's Southeastern Michigan & a section of Ohio near the Maumee River. The tribes were able to retain small pockets of land in the territory.

During its Indian Removal of the 1830s, the US government attempted to relocate tribes from the east to the west of the Mississippi River as the white pioneers increasingly migrated west. By the late 19th century, the government policy was to move tribes onto reservations within their territories. The government attempted to do this to the Anishinaabe in the Keweenaw Peninsula in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The Ojibwe live in groups (otherwise known as "bands"). Most Ojibwe, except for the Great Plains bands, lived a sedentary lifestyle, engaging in fishing & hunting to supplement the women's cultivation of numerous varieties of maize & squash, & the harvesting of manoomin (wild rice). Their typical dwelling was the wiigiwaam (wigwam), built either as a waginogaan (domed-lodge) or as a nasawa'ogaan (pointed-lodge), made of birch bark, juniper bark & willow saplings.

They developed a form of pictorial writing, used in religious rites of the Midewiwin & recorded on birch bark scrolls & possibly on rock. The many complex pictures on the sacred scrolls communicate much historical, geometrical, & mathematical knowledge. The use of petroforms, petroglyphs, & pictographs was common throughout the Ojibwe traditional territories. Petroforms & medicine wheels were a way to teach the important concepts of 4 directions & astronomical observations about the seasons, & to use as a memorizing tool for certain stories & beliefs.

Ceremonies also used the miigis shell (cowry shell), which is found naturally in distant coastal areas. Their use of such shells demonstrates there was a vast trade network across the continent at some time. The use & trade of copper across the continent has also been proof of a large trading network that took place for thousands of years, as far back as the Hopewell tradition. Certain types of rock used for spear & arrow heads were also traded over large distances.

During the summer months, the people attend jiingotamog for the spiritual & niimi'idimaa for a social gathering (pow-wows or "pau waus") at various reservations in the Anishinaabe-Aki (Anishinaabe Country). Many people still follow the traditional ways of harvesting wild rice, picking berries, hunting, making medicines, & making maple sugar. Many of the Ojibwe take part in sun dance ceremonies across the continent. The sacred scrolls are kept hidden away until those who are worthy & respect them are given permission to see & interpret them properly.

The Ojibwe would not bury their dead in a burial mound. Many erect a jiibegamig or a "spirit-house" over each mound. A traditional burial mound would typically have a wooden marker, inscribed with the deceased's doodem (clan sign). Because of the distinct features of these burials, Ojibwe graves have been often looted by grave robbers.

As with various other North American peoples, the Ojibwe culture includes a third gender. Ojibwe Two-Spirit women take on men's roles, classified as either "Iron Woman" or "Half Sky". Generally, two-spirit men practiced Shamanism & it was taboo for women to take on this role, but a two-spirit following this path was called an Iron Woman. The Half Sky two-spirit would be physically good at a man's trade (like hunting). Also, there is an instance when a wife becomes a widow & takes on her husband's manly deeds; this woman is called a "Woman Covered All Over". (Landes 153, 176, 178-179, & Merriam- Webster Dictionary).

Several Ojibwe bands in the United States cooperate in the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, which manages the treaty hunting & fishing rights in the Lake Superior-Lake Michigan areas. The commission follows the directives of U.S. agencies to run several wilderness areas. Some Minnesota Ojibwe tribal councils cooperate in the 1854 Treaty Authority, which manages their treaty hunting & fishing rights in the Arrowhead Region. In Michigan, the Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority manages the hunting, fishing & gathering rights about Sault Ste. Marie, & the resources of the waters of lakes Michigan & Huron. In Canada, the Grand Council of Treaty No. 3 manages the Treaty 3 hunting & fishing rights related to the area around Lake of the Woods.

Evolution of the Kinship & Clan system

Traditionally, the Ojibwe had a patrilineal system, in which children were considered born to the father's clan. For this reason, children with French or English fathers were considered outside the clan & Ojibwe society unless adopted by an Ojibwe male. They were sometimes referred to as "white" because of their fathers, regardless if their mothers were Ojibwe, as they had no official place in the Ojibwe society. The people would shelter the woman & her children, but they did not have the same place in the culture as children born to Ojibwe fathers.

Ojibwe understanding of kinship is complex, & includes not only the immediate family but also the extended family. It is considered a modified bifurcate merging kinship system. As with any bifurcate-merging kinship system, siblings generally share the same kinship term with parallel cousins because they are all part of the same clan. The modified system allows for younger siblings to share the same kinship term with younger cross-cousins. Complexity wanes further from the speaker's immediate generation, but some complexity is retained with female relatives. For example, ninooshenh is "my mother's sister" or "my father's sister-in-law"—i.e., my parallel-aunt, but also "my parent's female cross-cousin". Great-grandparents & older generations, as well as great-grandchildren & younger generations, are collectively called aanikoobijigan. This system of kinship reflects the Anishinaabe philosophy of interconnectedness & balance among all living generations, as well as of all generations of the past & of the future.

The Ojibwe people were divided into a number of odoodeman (clans; singular: doodem) named primarily for animals & birds totems (pronounced doodem). The five original totems were Wawaazisii (Bullhead), Baswenaazhi ("Echo-maker", i.e., Crane), Aan'aawenh (Pintail Duck), Nooke ("Tender", i.e., Bear) & Moozwaanowe ("Little" Moose-tail). The Crane totem was the most vocal among the Ojibwe, & the Bear was the largest – so large, that it was sub-divided into body parts such as the head, the ribs & the feet. Each clan had certain responsibilities among the people. People had to marry a spouse from a different clan.

Traditionally, each band had a self-regulating council consisting of leaders of the communities' clans, or odoodemaan. The band was often identified by the principal doodem. In meeting others, the traditional greeting among the Ojibwe people is, "What is your 'doodem'?" ("Aaniin gidoodem?" or "Awanen gidoodem?") The response allows the parties to establish social conduct by identifying as family, friends or enemies. Today, the greeting has been shortened to "Aanii". Pronounced; (Ah-nee)