OJIBWAY (Ojibwa), or Chippeway (Chippewa), the name given by the English to a large tribe of North American Indians of Algonquian stock. They must not be confused with the Chipewyan tribe of Athabascan stock settled around Lake Athabasca, Canada. They formerly occupied a vast tract of country around Lakes Huron and Superior, and now are settled on reservations in the neighbourhood. The name is from a word meaning “to roast till puckered” or “drawn up,” in reference, it is suggested, to a peculiar seam in their mocassins, though other explanations have been proposed. They call themselves Anishinabeg (“spontaneous men”), and the French called them Saulteurs (“People of the Falls”), from the first group of them being met at Sault Ste Marie. Tribal traditions declare they migrated from the St Lawrence region together with the Ottawa and Potawatomi, with which tribes they formed a confederacy known as “The Three Fires.” When first encountered about 1640 the Ojibway were inhabiting the coast of Lake Superior, surrounded by the Sioux and Foxes on the west and south. During the 18th century they conquered these latter and occupied much of their territory. Throughout the Colonial wars they were loyal to the French, but fought for the English in the War of Independence and the War of 1812, and thereafter permanently maintained peace with the Whites. The tribe was divided into ten divisions. They lived chiefly by hunting and fishing. They had many tribal myths, which were collected by Henry R. Schoolcraft in his Algic Researches (1839), upon which Longfellow founded his “Hiawatha.”
See Indians, North American; also W. J. Hoffmann, “Midewiwin of the Ojibwa,” in 7th Report of Bureau of American Ethnology (1891); W. W. Warren, “History of the Ojibways,” vol. v., Minnesota Historical Society's Collections; G. Copway, History of the Ojibway Indians (Boston, 1850); P. Jones, History of the Ojebway Indians (1861); A. E. Jenks, “Wild Rice Gatherers,” 19th Report of Bureau of American Ethnology (1900).