Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 900
Highway 5 West
Belcourt, ND 58316

Contact Information

701-477-2600

Website

http://www.tmbci.net/

Casino(s)

Cultural History

The Chippewa people are very proud to call themselves "The Original People". Under the membership of the Pembina Band of Chippewa, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa has their descendents which covers the interconnection with other bands. As we may know, there are lots of bands that still exist nowadays. Their name, Chippewa, is said to be the mispronunciation of Ojibwa, Ojibway, Ojibwe, Saulteaux and Anishinabe but they just determines the same group of people. Ojibwa actually means "something puckered up". One theory says that their name came from the way they made their moccasins. When referring to the tribe's history, they use the term Ojibway. After the contact of their people to the Europeans, they are then called "Chippewa".

Located from Newfoundland to the Rocky Mountains and from Hudson Bay to North Carolina, the Algonquin language group is where the Ojibway are members of. Included in this language group are the tribes namely Cree, Sauk, Ottawa, Menominee, Fox, Potawatomi, Shawnee, Delaware, Blackfeet, Cheyenne and the Arapaho. The classification of the language is made by the scholars but they are not really allies or correlated with each other. 

Their belief is that they were from North America. During the winter season, tribal stories and events were recounted by the elders. The Ojibway Creation Story describes the origin of their tribe. It is said that the planet Earth had a family when it was young. Kitchie Man i-to is the Great Mystery or Creator of this family. The power and the knowledge were all his that is why he was able to create their community. Nee-ba-gee-sis or the Moon, in a spiritual sense, means there is a heavenly being that looks after us when we are sleeping. If Kitchie Man i-to is the Grandfather, Nee-be-gee-sis was said to be the grandmother because she looks after the people who are asleep. Gee-sis or the Sun was also the grandfather because just like the other grandfather and grandmother, he also looks after us but during the day and not during night. Earth is said to be a mother because here, we live and grow. She gives every people their needs in order for them to survive. The Creation story tells us that the man, animals and every living creature on earth is created by Kitchie Manitou.  

The Chippewa consider their stories as teachings. But in a few years later, this tribe continued to grow and change just like the others. There was a restoration of individual freedom when it comes to religion. Though most of them are now Catholics, some are still doing the traditional way of living. That means, they still practice their old belief. However, it did not really affect their community from growing because everybody was given their freedom to choose what religion to believe in. Still, young people are studying their beliefs and ancestral roots. It will actually help in feeding the next generation and if it will not die, their culture and tradition will continually be preserved.

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