THE ANISHINAABEG: THE OJIBWE PEOPLE
The Ojibwe comprise numerous communities in the United States in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana, and in Canada in Ontario, southern and central Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The most common explanation of the name "Ojibwe" is said to be related to a root word meaning "puckered up," in reference to the distinct style of moccasin worn by the Ojibwe. Ojibwe speakers commonly refer to themselves as Anishinaabeg, a term meaning humans (as opposed to non-humans/whites).
Before European contact, the Ojibwe homeland was in the eastern US along the coast. Following a long migration, the Ojibwe soon spread along the eastern and northern shores of Lake Huron, up the northeastern shore of Lake Superior, and into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan before moving even further west into Minnesota, western Ontario, and Manitoba. During the fur trade, the Ojibwe moved out onto the plains of North Dakota, Saskatchewan, and as far west as Alberta and Montana. The Ojibwe are perhaps one of the most widespread cultural groups in North America, extending from the eastern Great Lakes to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
The Ojibwe language (Ojibwemowin) is considered part of the "Algonquian language family". There are several dialects. Southern Ojibwa speakers include the Ottawas and Chippewas of southern Ontario, Manitoulin Island, and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. To the east, the Nipissing and Algonquin represent another speech community, while western and northern Ojibwa speakers again represent other dialectal variants. The northern Ojibwa speak a dialect increasingly known as Ojicree or Oji-Cree, which resulted from intermarriage and contact with nearby Cree communities.
In the United States there are three federally-recognized bands of Plains Ojibwe: Turtle Mountain, Rocky Boy, and the Little Shell Band.