Cultural Divisions

All Indian tribes have names for themselves. The largest Indian group in Minnesota calls itself Anishinaabe, which means "the original people." Europeans named them Ojibwe. No one is exactly sure how this name developed. Perhaps it came from the Anishinaabe word "ojib," which describes the puckered moccasins worn by the people. Some Europeans had trouble saying Ojibwe, pronouncing it instead as Chippewa. But both these names refer to the same people. In Canada, the Anishinaabe call themselves Ojibwe. In the United States, many tribal members prefer the name Chippewa. So that is the name we will use in this history of White Earth Reservation.

White Earth Reservation is located in Becker, Clearwater, and Mahnomen counties in north-central Minnesota. Created in 1867 by a treaty between the United States and the Mississippi Band of Chippewa Indians, it is one of seven Chippewa reservations in Minnesota. Although the White Earth Chippewa no longer live as their ancestors did, they have kept alive their tribal heritage. Almost every aspect of their present-day life has been strongly influenced by the past.

Learn more at www.whiteearth.com/history/