Onigamiinsing Dibaajimowinan — Duluth’s Stories Website

Picking Blueberries near Little Fork in 1937A recently launched website is offering an indigenous perspective on the history of Duluth and the surrounding area. Onigamiinsing Dibaajimowinan — Duluth’s Stories Website was created with the mission “to share the deep history and continuing presence of Native people within Duluth.” The site was created by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and grew out of an ethnographic study completed in 2012 for the Duluth Indigenous Commission. The study involved archaeology and history studied through documents and oral interviews. The study is available online in PDF form.



about 3 years ago

I would say that the website greatly underplays the conflict between the then-native Dakota tribes and the Ojibwe which led to the absence of Dakota tribes in this area.

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

The Dakota/Ojibwe battles tend to be glossed over in just about any history text. If there is a detailed account, I have yet to learn of it, but perhaps mentioning that here will lead to more information.

Generally the summary goes like this:

The Dakota (or Sioux) are thought to be descendants of the Woodland Indians and were the dominant society in the Duluth area during the 1600s, when the Anishinaabe-Ojibwe (Chippewa) migrated from the east along the Great Lakes.

Competition in trading with European settlers led to intertribal conflict.  With the help of guns acquired in the fur trade, the Ojibwe pushed the Dakota south and west during battles that extended over a 100-year period.

By the end of the 1700s, the Ojibwe controlled nearly all of Minnesota and all of Lake Superior's shores.

That's about all I've ever read, other than the Legend of Spirit Island.


about 3 years ago

This seemed like a decent  summary: Ojibwe in Minnesota

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

Ojibwe in Minnesota

Thanks Waferdog, that's a much more nuanced and interesting read. Library, here I come.

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