Minnesota has approximately 55,000 members of various Ojibwe tribes. About one-third of them live on reservations while nearly forty percent live in the Twin Cities metro area.
All but one of the seven federally recognized Ojibwe reservations (the Red Lake Reservation) have come together as the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.
In various situations and writings the Ojibwe tribes are also called Chippewa or Anishinabe.
The Minnesota Chippewa tribe is comprised of the Bois Forte (formerly Nett Lake), the Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake (which has two bands, the Mississippi and Pillanger Bands), the Mille Lacs and the White Earth Ojibwe.
These seven bands on six reservations total nearly 13,000 Ojibwe making the Minnesota Chippewa one of the largest single bodies of one tribe.
Each Ojibwe tribe/reservation has its own distinctive flag but there is also a separate flag employed by the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. That flag bears the seal of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe in the center. The seal depicts a sunrise over the lakes of Minnesota and traditional elements of Ojibwe life along the shore. These include a typical Ojibwe home of the eighteenth century and a birchbark canoe.
"You can not destroy one who has dreamed a dream like mine."
"The grandfathers and the grandmothers are in the children; teach them well."
"No tree has branches so foolish as to fight amongst themselves."
I had the unique privilege of growing up on, or near, several Minnesota reservations. Some of our family's favorite foods are based on the traditional Minnesota Ojibwe recipes. We love wild berries, Indian fry bread, wild rice, fish and wild game.
When you visit Minnesota, you may want to explore this important part of Minnesota's heritage. You can do this by visiting Ojibwe tribe museums, attending Ojibwe festivals, celebrations and pow-wows.
Many of the individual elements found in the seal of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe can be found in the seal employed by its constituent bands. The rising sun, for example, is featured in the flag of the Mille Lacs Band; while the conifer tree can be found in the flag of the Leech Lake Ojibwe tribe. Surrounding the seal is a yellow band bearing the tribe's name across the top and repeating it in the Anishinabe language of the Ojibwe at the base of the seal.
The date, June 18, 1934, the founding date of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe appears below the Anishinabe spelling. Ringing the seal within the yellow band, starting at the beginning of the native spelling and going counter clockwise ending at the end of the Anishinabe spelling is a thin black arrow.
You can learn about Ojibwe art and artists, hear the stories that are part of Ojibwe oral tradition, and buy Ojibwe gifts crafted by members of Ojibwe tribes.
Several historic sites give Minnesota visitors opportunity to learn about the rich history and culture of the Ojibwe. There are places you can still see burial mounds, learn how wild rice is harvested and even learn to speak Ojibwe.