900AD-1400 AD

  • Anishnabe migration from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes basin (Benton, The Mishomis Book)
  • Formation of the Three Fires Confederacy:
    • Potawatami-Keepers of the Sacred Fire
    • Odawa- Providers-Hunting, Traders
    • Ojibwe- Military Protection, Preservation of Teachings
  • Woodland Culture:
    • Trade routes throughout North America
    • Clan System
    • Hunter/Gatherer, nomadic societies travel north in the winter, south in the summer

1600 AD

  • Ojibwe living east of Lake Superior
  • European contact introduces the use of guns
  • Inter-tribal warfare over fur trade
  • Dependence on European goods increases, introduction of alcohol
  • Diseases (Smallpox, TB) ravage Anishnabe


  • Samuel de Champlain explores Lake Huron with Etienne Brule and meets Ojibwe at Spragge, gathering and drying blueberries and raspberries.
  • Spiritual gatherings at the mouth of the Serpent River are consistent with the traditional responsibilities of the Ojibwe.


  • Jesuits enter Anishnabe territory (Jesuit Relations 13 volumes Stan Mealings ed.)
  • By 1670, Jesuits have a reasonably accurate map of North Western Ontario
  • 1500 Anishnabe convene at Sault Ste. Marie to exchange furs for European goods. Gathering lasts a few weeks. (North of Superior)