Chippewa Myth of Creation

In the beginning, before there were people before there were animals a lone woman lived in a cave. She lived on the roots and berries of the plants. One night a magical dog crept into her cave and stretched out on her bed beside her. As the night grew long the dog began to change. His body became smooth and almost hairless. His limbs grew long and straight. His features changed into those of a handsome warrior. Nine months later the woman birthed a child. He was the first Chippewa male and through him came the Chippewa peoples.


by Elaine Lunham Virginia Graverette Pigeon, Tribal Elder of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, member of the Cedar Women’s Society, Elder of the Mide Lodge. With these credentials, I realized that Virginia holds a lot of wisdom, guidance, and teachings. For as long as I can remember, I had heard of the Anishinabe people smudging with sacred herbs such as tobacco, sweetgrass, sage, and cedar. I always wondered the meaning behind it (though I had my own ideas). One day I went to Virginia, seeking answers to my questions, trying to gain insight and knowledge so that one day I could pass this on to my children and their children. Virginia began by saying that some people follow the Traditional Way and some follow the Christian Way and that one way respects the aspects of both ways. Both know one God. Virginia said that there are a lot of stories and […] Read More

Great Serpent And The Great Flood

Chippewa Indian Lore: From Maine and Nova Scotia to the Rocky Mountains, Indians told stories about the Great Serpent. More than a century ago the serpent was considered to be “a genuine spirit of evil.” Some version of the story of the Great Flood of long ago, as recounted here, is told around the world. Nanabozho (Nuna-bozo, accented on bozo) was the hero of many stories told by the Chippewa Indians. At one time they lived on the shores of Lake Superior, in what are now the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin and the province of Ontario. One day when Nanabozho returned to his lodge after a long journey, he missed his young cousin who lived with him. He called the cousin’s name but heard no answer. Looking around on the sand for tracks, Nanabozho was startled by the trail of the Great Serpent. He then knew that his […] Read More

Forsaken Brother

Chippewa Indian Lore: One summer evening, scarcely an hour before sunset, the father of a family lay in his lodge, dying. Weeping beside him were his wife and three children. Two of them were almost grown up; the youngest was but a small child. These were the only human beings near the dying man, for the lodge stood on a little green mound away from all others of the tribe. A breeze from the lake gave the sick man a brief return of strength. He raised himself a little and addressed his family. “I know that I will leave you soon. Your mother, my partner of many years, will not stay long behind. She will soon join me in the pleasant land of spirits. But, O my children, my poor children! You have just begun life. All unkindness and other wickedness are still before you. “I have contented myself […] Read More

The Two Jeebi-ug

Chippewa Indian Lore: There lived a hunter in the North who had a wife and one child. His lodge stood far off in the forest, several days’ journey from any other. He spent his days in hunting and his evening in relating to his wife the incidents that had befallen him. As game was very abundant he found no difficulty in killing as much as they wanted. Just in all his acts, he lived a peaceful and happy life. One evening during the winter season, it chanced that he remained out later than usual, and his wife began to feel uneasy, for fear some accident had befallen him. It was already dark. She listened attentively and at last heard the sound of approaching footsteps. Not doubting it was her husband, she went to the door and beheld two strange females. She bade them to enter, and invited them to […] Read More

The Legend Of The Big Bird

Chippewa Indian Lore: Dene Suline/Soline (Chippewa) Indians were known caribou eaters as early as 1600, coming down from northern Canada as far south as Lake Superior and Minnesota. They spread into numerous tribes, separated mainly by physical boundaries, such as lakes, rivers, and mountains. Their distinctive language of the Athapascan family is heard far and wide between the West and East Coasts, and even southward among the Apaches and Navaho. Dene Suline/Soline (Chippewa) are extremely imaginative people, and nature is interpreted by them in a pleasing and poetic manner. For instance, the Dene Suline/Soline (Chippewa) might describe two trees, as “two trees growing side by side, so neither will tire of living alone.” Big Bird was a widow of the tribe’s most famous Chief, Peace River. She lived with her son and beautiful daughter on the bank of a large stream. Her great ambition seemed to be to secure […] Read More

Father Of Indian Corn

Chippewa Indian Lore: In the long, long ago, a poor Ojibwa Indian lived with his wife and children in a remote part of the present state of Wisconsin. Because he was such a poor hunter, he was not very expert in providing food and supplies for his family. His children were too young to give him much help. But he was a good man with a kind and contented disposition. He always was thankful to Chief of the Sky Spirits for everything he received to share with his family. His good disposition was inherited by his eldest son, who had just reached the age when he wanted to pursue his Guardian Spirit Quest. Each young Indian boy looked forward to the time of finding the secret Spirit that would be his guide through his life. Each boy sought to learn his spirit name and what special power would be […] Read More

Chippewa Prophecies

No-Eyes, Medicine Woman of the Chippewa Nation No years are given for the events predicted; most information references the US, and some of it has already happened, such as in the early 1900s. Economic Massive blue-collar strikes Relocation of key factories overseas Extended import-export embargoes/taxations Widespread factory shutdowns Excessive taxation Small business failures Insolvency of many banks Stock market misdealings/decline Drastic construction decline Devaluation of real estate Increase in corporate crime Drop-in level of manufactured goods Increase of corporate monopolies/takeovers Increase in personal bankruptcies Widespread layoffs Cash as only accepted tender Natural Disasters Major devastation in California Earthquakes in new areas Inactive craters become unsettled Mountains become unstable Return of the dust bowl Record-breaking flooding Tornadoes increase intensity and occasion Liquefaction of soil beneath faults Intensified hurricane devastation Freak wind gusts/accidents Soil erosion Increased radon levels Insect infestation Sinkholes Rapid temperature inversions Unusually frigid winters/deadly blizzards Seeping natural gas […] Read More