Fond du Lac Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa

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Cultural History

The Fond du Lac Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa members is currently settled in the Fond du Lac Reservation. The members of the band are primarily from the Lake Superior Band of Minnesota Chippewa. The Chippewa Nation is actually the second largest group of ethnic Native American Indians in the United States. The ancestors of the whole tribe comes from the Great Lakes region and has been the residents of the said area for not less than 800 A.D. the tribe is likewise a member of the Algonquian linguistic family in which the Ottawa, the Potowatomi, the Fox, Creee, Menominee and the other smaller tribes are also part of. The tribal territory once extended up to the Rocky Mountains coming from the Hudson Bay south to the Cumberland River. However, the large number of the tribal territory was then ceded by the European settlers who were land-hungry and needed more lands for their enterprises.

The tribal history is generally divided into four periods namely the Pre-contact, the French, the English and the United States. The pre-contact period of the tribal history is quite rare and hard to explain, so many historians focus on the other divisions. There are also several data about the tribal lands and so the data reveals that they have been in their tribal locations for the last centuries even dating back to that of 500 B.C. The tribal lifestyle was said to have been closely linked to that of the woodland cultures of the 800 A.D to the 1600 A.D. The records of the tribal history are enough proofs that the tribe came from the Great Lakes region. There are then oral traditions which explain that there was a migration to the west from the Atlantic Seaboard of the Lake Superior into Canada and some to the south Lake Superior into those of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

The first recorded contact with the Europeans was in the year 1622 when Etiene Brule met with the Chippewa of the Sault Ste. Marie. The tribal lifestyle was described as that of the hunter-gatherer culture that fished in the lakes during the summertime, and then hunted games in the forests in the winter months. The spring season, on the other hand, has brought families together in the camps so as to collect the maple sap, which they boiled to become sugar then in autumn, when the trees are dried, the tribal members collected wild rice to  sustain their living. The seasonal activities heavily influenced the ways of the tribal people.

Being part of the Chippewa Nation meant having different clans which was a system fully followed by the tribal people. The clans depended on the lineage and the family members. Each of the tribal clan had their own totems which symbolized their clans. 

The medicinal practices and some other ceremonies of today are some of the heritage which was handed down to the generation. The tribe is composed of people who are good agriculturists. The tribal industry of today is blooming from the revenues generated by the tribal enterprises.

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