The Ojibwe, Anishinaabe or Chippewa (also Ojibwa, Ojibway, Chippeway, Aanishanabe, or Anishinabeg) is the largest…Read More
In the darkness of an early July morning in 1945, on a desolate spot in the New Mexico desert named after a John Donne sonnet celebrating the Holy Trinity, the first atomic bomb was exploded. J. Robert Oppenheimer later remembered that the immense flash of light, followed by the thunderous roar, caused a few observers to laugh and others to cry.
But most, he said, were silent. Oppenheimer himself recalled at that instant a line from the Bhagavad-Gita:
"I am become death, the shatterer of worlds."
There is no reason to think that anyone on board the Nina, the Pinta, or the Santa Maria, on an equally dark early morning four and a half centuries earlier, thought of those ominous lines from the ancient Sanskrit poem when the crews of the Spanish ships spied a flicker of light on the windward side of the island they would name after the Holy Saviour.
But the intuition, had it occurred, would have been as appropriate then as it was when that first nuclear blast rocked the New Mexico desert sands.
In both instances-at the Trinity test site in 1945 and at San Salvador in 1492-those moments of achievement crowned years of intense personal struggle and adventure for their protagonists and were culminating points of ingenious technological achievement for their countries.
But both instances also were prelude to orgies of human destructiveness that, each in its own way, attained a scale of devastation not previously witnessed in the entire history of the world.
Just twenty-one days after the first atomic test in the desert, the Japanese industrial city of Hiroshima was leveled by nuclear blast; never before had so many people-at least 130,000, probably many more-died from a single explosion.
Just twenty-one years after Columbus's first landing in the Caribbean, the vastly populous island that the explorer had re-named Hispaniola was effectively desolate; nearly 8,000,000 people-those Columbus chose to call Indians-had been killed by violence, disease, and despair.
It took a little longer, about the span of a single human generation, but what happened on Hispaniola was the equivalent of more than fifty Hiroshimas. And Hispaniola was only the beginning.
Within no more than a handful of generations following their first encounters with Europeans, the vast majority of the Western Hemisphere's native peoples had been exterminated.
The pace and magnitude of their obliteration varied from place to place and from time to time, but for years now historical demographers have been uncovering, in region upon region, post-Columbian depopulation rates of between 90 and 98 percent with such regularity that an overall decline of 95 percent has become a working rule of thumb.
What this means is that, on average, for every twenty natives alive at the moment of European contact-when the lands of the Americas teemed with numerous tens of millions of people-only one stood in their place when the bloodbath was over.
To put this in a contemporary context, the ratio of native survivorship in the Americas following European contact was less than half of what the human survivorship ratio would be in the United States today if every single white person and every single black person died.
The destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world.
That is why, as one historian aptly has said, far from the heroic and romantic heraldry that customarily is used to symbolize the European settlement of the Americas, the emblem most congruent with reality would be a pyramid of skulls.
Scholarly estimates of the size of the post-Columbian holocaust have climbed sharply in recent decades. Too often, however, academic discussions of this ghastly event have reduced the devastated indigenous peoples and their cultures to statistical calculations in recondite demographic analyses. It is easy for this to happen. From the very beginning, merely taking the account of so mammoth a cataclysm seemed an impossible task.
Wrote one Spanish adventurer-who arrived in the New World only two decades after Columbus's first landing, and who himself openly reveled in the torrent of native blood-there was neither "paper nor time enough to tell all that the [conquistadors] did to ruin the Indians and rob them and destroy the land."
As a result, the very effort to describe the disaster's overwhelming magnitude has tended to obliterate both the writer's and the reader's sense of its truly horrific human element.
In an apparent effort to counteract this tendency, one writer, Tzvetan Todorov, begins his study of the events of 1492 and immediately thereafter with an epigraph from Diego de Landa's Relacion de las cosas de Yucatan:
The captain Alonso Lopez de Avila, brother-in-law of the adelantado Montejo, captured, during the war in Bacalan, a young Indian woman of lovely and gracious appearance.
She had promised her husband, fearful lest they should kill him in the war, not to have relations with any other man but him, and so no persuasion was sufficient to prevent her from taking her own life to avoid being defiled by another man; and because of this they had her thrown to the dogs.
Todorov then dedicates his book "to the memory of a Mayan woman devoured by dogs."
It is important to try to hold in mind an image of that woman, and her brothers and sisters and the innumerable others who suffered similar fates, as one reads Todorov's book, or this one, or any other work on this subject-just as it is essential, as one reads about the [fraudulent] Jewish Holocaust or the horrors of the African slave trade, to keep in mind the treasure of a single life in order to avoid becoming emotionally anesthetized by the sheer force of such overwhelming human evil and destruction.
There is, for example, the case of a small Indian boy whose name no one knows today, and whose unmarked skeletal remains are hopelessly intermingled with those of hundreds of anonymous others in a mass grave on the American plains, but a boy who once played on the banks of a quiet creek in eastern Colorado-until the morning, in 1864, when the American soldiers came.
Then, as one of the cavalrymen later told it, while his compatriots were slaughtering and mutilating the bodies of all the women and all the children they could catch, he spotted the boy trying to flee:
There was one little child, probably three years old, just big enough to walk through the sand. The Indians had gone ahead, and this little child was behind following after them.
The little fellow was perfectly naked, traveling on the sand. I saw one man get off his horse, at a distance of about seventy-five yards, and draw up his rifle and fire-he missed the child.
Another man came up and said, "Let me try the son of a bitch; I can hit him." He got down off his horse, kneeled down, and fired at the little child, but he missed him. A third man came up and made a similar remark, and fired, and the little fellow dropped.
We must do what we can to recapture and to try to understand, in human terms, what it was that was crushed, what it was that was butchered It is not enough merely to acknowledge that much was lost. So close to total was the human incineration and carnage in the post-Columbian Americas, however, that of the tens of millions who were killed, few individual lives left sufficient traces for subsequent biographical representation...
Moreover, the important question for the future in this case is not "can it happen again?" Rather, it is "can it be stopped?" For the genocide in the Americas, and in other places where the world's indigenous peoples survive, has never really ceased. As recently as 1986, the Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States observed that 40,000 people had simply "disappeared" in Guatemala during the preceding fifteen years. Another 100,000 had been openly murdered. That is the equivalent, in the United States, of more than 4,000,000 people slaughtered or removed under official government decree-a figure that is almost six times the number of American battle deaths in the Civil War, World War One, World War Two, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined.'
Almost all those dead and disappeared were Indians, direct descendants - as was that woman who was devoured by dogs - of the Mayas, creators of one of the most splendid civilizations that this earth has ever seen. Today, as five centuries ago, these people are being tortured and slaughtered, their homes and villages bombed and razed-while more than two-thirds of their rain forest homelands have now been intentionally burned and scraped into ruin.' The murder and destruction continue, with the aid and assistance of the United States, even as these words are being written and read. And many of the detailed accounts from contemporary observers read much like those recorded by the conquistadors' chroniclers nearly 500 years earlier.
"Children, two years, four years old, they just grabbed them and tore them in two," reports one witness to a military massacre of Indians in Guatemala in 1982. Recalls another victim of an even more recent assault on an Indian encampment:
With tourniquets they killed the children, of two years, of nine months, of six months. They killed and burned them all.... What they did [to my father] was put a machete in here (pointing to his chest) and they cut open his heart, and they left him all burned up. This is the pain we shall never forget ... Better to die here with a bullet and not die in that way, like my father did."
Adds still another report, from a list of examples seemingly without end:
At about 1:00 p.m., the soldiers began to fire at the women inside the small church. The majority did not die there, but were separated from their children, taken to their homes in groups, and killed, the majority apparently with machetes.... Then they returned to kill the children, whom they had left crying and screaming by themselves, without their mothers. Our informants, who were locked up in the courthouse, could see this through a hole in the window and through the doors carelessly left open by a guard. The soldiers cut open the children's stomachs with knives or they grabbed the children's little legs and smashed their heads with heavy sticks.... Then they continued with the men. They took them out, tied their hands, threw them on the ground, and shot them. The authorities of the area were killed inside the courthouse.... It was then that the survivors were able to escape, protected by the smoke of the fire which had been set to the building. Seven men, three of whom survived, managed to escape. It was 5:30 p.m.
In all, 352 Indians were killed in this massacre, at a time when 440 towns were being entirely destroyed by government troops, when almost 10,000 unarmed people were being killed or made to "disappear" annually, and when more than 1,000,000 of Guatemala's approximately 4,000,000 natives were being displaced by the deliberate burning and wasting of their ancestral lands. During such episodes of mass butchery, some children escape; only their parents and grandparents are killed. That is why it was reported in Guatemala in 1985 that "116,000 orphans had been tabulated by the judicial branch census throughout the country, the vast majority of them in the Indian townships of the western and central highlands."
Reminders are all around us, if we care to look, that the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century extermination of the indigenous people of Hispaniola, brought on by European military assault and the importation of exotic diseases, was in part only an enormous prelude to human catastrophes that followed on other killing grounds, and continue to occur today-from the forests of Brazil and Paraguay and elsewhere in South and Central America, where direct government violence still slaughters thousands of Indian people year in and year out, to the reservations and urban slums of North America, where more sophisticated indirect government violence has precisely the same effect-all the while that Westerners engage in exultation over the 500th anniversary of the European discovery of America, the time and the place where all the killing began.
Other reminders surround us, as well, however, that there continues among indigenous peoples today the echo of their fifteenth and sixteenth century opposition to annihilation, when, despite the wanton killing by the European invaders and the carnage that followed the introduction of explosive disease epidemics, the natives resisted with an intensity the conquistadors found difficult to believe. "I do not know how to describe it," wrote Bernal Diaz del Castillo of the defiance the Spanish encountered in Mexico, despite the wasting of the native population by bloodbath and torture and disease, "for neither cannon nor muskets nor crossbows availed, nor hand-to-hand fighting, nor killing thirty or forty of them every time we charged, for they still fought on in as close ranks and with more energy than in the beginning."
Five centuries later that resistance remains, in various forms, throughout North and South and Central America, as it does among indigenous peoples in other lands that have suffered from the Westerners' furious wrath. Compared with what they once were, the native peoples in most of these places are only remnants now. But also in each of those places, and in many more, the struggle for physical and cultural survival, and for recovery of a deserved pride and autonomy, continues unabated.
All the ongoing violence against the world's indigenous peoples, in whatever form-as well as the native peoples' various forms of resistance to that violence-will persist beyond our full understanding, however, and beyond our ability to engage and humanely come to grips with it, until we are able to comprehend the magnitude and the causes of the human destruction that virtually consumed the people of the Americas and other people in other subsequently colonized parts of the globe, beginning with Columbus's early morning sighting of landfall on October 12, 1492. That was the start of it all. This book is offered as one contribution to our necessary comprehension.
Pycnogenol is a derivative of an ancient Ojibwe medicine from the bark and needles of pine trees
Pycnogenol ® has been hailed as the most potent, natural antioxidant compound ever discovered by science, considered by many health experts to be the nutritional breakthrough of the twentieth century!
Pycnogenol® is the name of the patented extract of the bark of the Maritime Pine tree, Pinus Maritima that grows along the Atlantic Coast in the Bordeaux region of France.
Produced by Horphag Research Ltd., Pycnogenol® is exceptionally rich in a class of water-soluble bioflavonoids known as proanthocyanidins. This natural blend of plant-derived compounds scavenge free-radicals in our food, water and environment.
One of the most valuable and fascinating of the natural “medicines,” Pycnogenol® (pick-nojh-en-ahl), has been tested and used by physicians in Europe for nearly 25 years and more recently in the USA. MaraPine Pycnogenol® is a super - antioxidant, surpassing other antioxidants in protecting from and repairing free radical damage in living cells.
You can see the effect of oxidation when a cut apple turns brown or windshield wipers get hard and brittle. Pencil erasers get hard and unusable for erasing, metals rust.
Research has shown that free-radical damage is a major cause of aging and degenerative disease.
Antioxidants are one of the main defenses against this oxidation caused by free radicals. Vitamins C and E are electron-rich molecules that donate electrons to the free-radical molecules, stabilizing them before they can damage the molecules of body cells and tissues.
Although the body needs oxygen to live, there must be a control to quench oxidation in the wrong places.
The body normally would be able to provide its own free radical quenchers, the antioxidants, from healthy, whole foods; but it is overwhelmed by the onslaught of so many free-radical sources in our modern, contaminated world.
Pycnogenol® is 50 times more effective as an antioxidant than vitamin E and 20 times more effective than vitamin C in in vitro studies.
Doctors have successfully used Pycnogenol® for attention deficit disorder, allergies, Alzheimer's, arteriosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, autism, cancer, cataracts, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart disease, hemorrhoids, injuries, jet lag, lupus, macular degeneration, manic depression, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, PMS, prostatitis, phlebitis, sport injuries, strokes, ulcers, varicose veins, and many others. Even pets can benefit from Pycnogenol®.
"An explosion of studies show that antioxidants are a possible preventative for heart disease, cancer, and dozens of other disorders." Dr. Max Horwitt, Professor Emeritus, St. Louis University of Medicine
In addition, Maritime Pine Pycnogenol® offers a wide spectrum of dietary support for the circulatory system, skin, collagen and offers the body nutritional tools to help regulate proper inflammatory response.
Pycnogenol® helps prevent the release of histamines and thus reduces allergies and pain.
Pycnogenol® crosses the blood-brain barrier to protect and repair free radical damage in brain cells and blood vessels of the brain. This is of special importance with those with ADD, ADHD, senility, Alzheimer's, and stroke.
Maritime Pine Pycnogenol® binds to collagen and helps rebuild the cross-links among the fibers, reversing the damage caused by free radical attack.
Collagen, one of the body's most common proteins, is the primary component of joints and skin. Interlacing collagen fibers give your skin and tissues their elasticity and strength.
Pycnogenol® also increases endurance during exercise by 21%, reduces inflammation by inhibiting enzymes that cause pain in arthritis, sports injuries, and certain headaches, and it restores joint flexibility.
Pycnogenol has been shown to outperform conventional drugs for chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) and speeds the healing of diabetic foot ulcers. Studies have shown that Pycnogenol® significantly reduces symptoms of endometriosis, such as pelvic pain and dysmenorrhea.
Pycnogenol®, a standardized extract of Pinus pinaster bark, was tested for its antimicrobial activity against 23 different pathogenic prokaryotic (gram-positive and gram-negative) and eukaryotic (yeast and fungi) microorganisms. Pycnogenol® inhibited the growth of all the tested microorganisms in minimum concentrations ranging from 20 to 250 µg/mL. Thus, Pycnogenol® in concentrations as low as 0.025% could counteract the growth of all the strains investigated in this study. These results conform with clinical oral health care studies describing the prevention of plaque formation and the clearance of candidiasis by Pycnogenol®. Pycnogenol has been tested as additives in cooked meats performed better than the synthetic preservatives in oxidation and microbial effects, results that could be readily acceptable to consumers seeking ready-to-eat meat products with natural preservatives.
This is not something you take because you are old and having problems because of one or more degenerative diseases. This is for all ages. It improves immune function, heals injuries faster, protects against cancer, reduces frequency and severity of colds, effective for hay fever, asthma, and allergies, and reduces severity of sunburn. More importantly, it prevents the onset of degenerative diseases that begin slowly and imperceptibly from an early age. The wrinkling of skin demonstrates the breakdown of other tissues in hidden parts of the body. Collagen in the tissues is broken down by free radical attack and Pycnogenol® prevents and repairs the collagen. Wrinkles are not so much a normal part of aging as it is a normal part of free radical degeneration. Degeneration caused by free radicals comes from synthetic food, radiation and contaminated water and air.
Dr. Robert Youngblood, M.D., a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, states "Because of free radicals, I have a thriving practice in plastic surgery. Not only do free radicals speed up the aging process internally, they also cause the aging process to accelerate externally." Wrinkles on the outside are matched by dysfunctional tissues on the inside. Having wrinkles is NOT a sign of age, but a sign of massive exposure to unquenched free radicals. It signals internal damage that can be corrected before the internal organs malfunction. Pycnogenol® is the natural alternative to plastic surgery and synthetic skin creams, known throughout Europe as the "youth nutrient."
"The evidence is really mounting that antioxidants really do protect against cardiovascular events such as heart attack and strokes." Dr. JoAnn Manson, Harvard Medical School
Dr. F. Feine-Haake tested Pycnogenol therapy for varicose veins. The study involved 100 individuals with a mean age of 65 who were diagnosed as having varicose veins. They received 15 mg. of Pycnogenol daily. Eighty percent of the cases showed clear clinical improvement, and a 90 % success rate was reported for 40 individuals who had experienced nightly calf muscle cramps. Vinciguerra found that "the use of Pycnogenol prevents cramps, muscular pain at rest, and pain after/during exercise in normals, in athletes prone to cramps, and in patients with venous disease.” as reported in Cramps and Muscular Pain: Prevention with Pycnogenol® in Normal Subjects, Venous Patients, Athletes, Claudicants and in Diabetic Microangiopathy [Peripheral Vascular Disease] Angiology 2006; 57(3):331-339
Dr. David Dunn of the University of Nottingham has declared Pycnogenol to be the antidote for atherosclerosis.
Aboriginal land ownership rights of Indians cannot be divested unless there is a treaty with the United States. Appellant here, the lineal descendants of an aboriginal band of Indians, established rights to Minnesota and North Dakota lands by centuries of use and occupancy.
In 1863 by Treaty they ceded their interest in a large acreage of Minnesota and a small strip in North Dakota. The consideration promised by the United States was never paid.
Forty years ago they brought an action before the Indian Claims Commission.
They were awarded approximately $237,000. Their rights in about 10 million acres of ancestral lands in North Dakota were taken without a Treaty or payment.
Other bands with somewhat similar interests were joined. Plaintiffs were awarded approximately $47,000,000. Both judgments were funded by Congress and the money entrusted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The Little Shell have never received their portion of either of these awards. In the court they sought an order requiring an accounting of their funds. The court dismissed their Complaint based on sovereign immunity. The issues are lengthy and complex and they request 30 minutes for oral argument.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
This action involves two separate aboriginal land claims. One claim is based upon an Indian Claims Commission judgment (Docket 18 A), which recognized money, was still owing to the Little Shell Band pursuant to a Treaty of 1863. The judgment award was funded by Congress and placed in trust with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The funds have never been paid to the Little Shell Band. The other claim is based upon an Indian Claims Commission judgment (Docket 221) that recognized that without just compensation the United States of America had taken 10 million acres of land in which the Little Shell Band had an aboriginal interest as a result of its historical use and occupancy. Congress also funded that judgment and the money placed in trust with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Those funds have never been paid to the Little Shell Band either.
This is an action for an accounting of those funds. The United States moved to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12 FRCP asserting lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The United States District Court for the District of North Dakota granted dismissal upon grounds of governmental immunity, statute of limitations, failure to state a claim, and was critical of "standing". Plaintiff appeals.
STATEMENT OF THE FACTS
The Little Shell Band is made up of lineal descendants of a nomadic, aboriginal group of Indians who in 1863 were led by its great Chief, Ase-anse or Essence (hereafter "Chief Little Shell"). The Little Shell Band is not a "recognized tribe" as that term is used for Indian groups who have sought and received formal recognition by the federal government.
The Little Shell Band as it existed in 1863 divided into two groups approximately a century ago. Some of its members were driven by poverty, hunger and government "removal policy" out of North Dakota to settle permanently in Northern Montana. Today they refer to themselves as the "The Little Shell Band of Montana". They and their interests are not involved in this litigation.
The lineal descendants of the Little Shell Band who bring this action through their hereditary chief live in various areas of the United States. The governing group, The Grand Council of 1863, live primarily in north-central North Dakota. They presented three claims to the lower Court. The dismissal of two claims are presented here on appeal . A claim for proceeds of a Bond presented to the lower Court is not pursued here.
The policy of Congress, reserving for itself exclusive power to negotiate Treaties that would expropriate aboriginal rights, was affirmed in United States v. Santa Fe Pacific RR, 314 U.S. 347 (May 1941). In addition, in the Louisiana Purchase the French extracted a promise from the United States that aboriginal rights would not be usurped in the area being purchased. Some of the area involved in this litigation was a part of the Louisiana Purchase:
"The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States and admitted as soon as possible according to the principles of the federal Constitution to the enjoyment of all these rights, advantages and immunities of citizens of the United States, and in the mean time they shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property and the Religion which they profess." Louisiana Purchase, Part III, October 18, 1800.
In addition, the Act by which Congress created the Territory of Dakota specifically provided there could be no impairment of Indian property rights in that territory unless the Unites States first obtained the consent of Indians having aboriginal rights therein. Act of March 2, 1861, 12 Stat. 239. Sec 1.
Throughout the 1800’s the desire for new lands and the idea that it was white man’s "manifest destiny" to settle the continent resulted in a relentless westward migration by white settlers into the Indian’s aboriginal lands. It did not matter whether the government had a treaty with the affected Indians. Throughout the 1800’s the government frequently stood in blatant violation of its own statutes.
As the white settlers poured into the West, official government policy sought to encourage removal of Indian Tribes through a series of "resettlements" and voluntary westward migrations. Unsettled lands "further west" were offered in exchange for Indian lands the whites wanted to settle. See e.g., The Indian Removal Act of 1830, ch CXLVIII, 4 Stat. 411. When official policy didn’t work, unofficial policy encouraged forcible relocation. Cobell v. Norton, 345 U.S. App. D.C. 141, 240 F.3d 1081 (Feb 23, 2001).
In the late 1700’s and throughout the 1800’s a massive white migration had forced these bands out of their woodland homes in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota and pushed them farther west into the Dakota Territory and what is now Montana. Eventually those who moved survived on the Great Plains as hunters, fishers and trappers.
By the 1860’s thousands of white settlers had staked out claims in Minnesota and along the Red River in North Dakota even though there was no treaty divesting the Indians who lived there of their aboriginal rights to those lands. In 1863 the Homestead Act was passed. By the 1880’s more than a million white settlers had moved into the Western Plains.
The Ojibwe, Anishinaabe or Chippewa (also Ojibwa, Ojibway, Chippeway, Aanishanabe, or Anishinabeg) is the largest group of Native Americans/First Nations north of Mexico, including Métis. They are the third largest in the USA, surpassed only by Cherokee and Navajo. They are about equally divided between the United States and Canada.
Because they formerly were located mainly around Sault Ste. Marie, at the outlet of Lake Superior, the French referred to them as Saulteurs; Ojibwa who subsequently moved to the Prairie provinces of Canada have retained the name Saulteaux.
The major component group of the Anishinaabe, in the US they number over 100,000 living in an area stretching across the north from Michigan to Montana.
Another 76,000, in 125 bands, live in Canada, stretching from western Québec to eastern British Columbia.
They are known for their birch bark canoes, sacred birch bark scrolls, the use of cowrie shells, wild rice, copper points, and for the fact that they were the only Native Americans to defeat the Sioux at times and were never defeated by the US Army.
The Ojibwe Nation was the first to set the agenda for signing more detailed treaties with Canada's leaders before too many settlers were allowed too far west.
The M'dewiwin Society was well respected as the keeper of detailed and complex scrolls of events, history, songs, maps, memories, stories, geometry, astronomy, and mathematics.
The autonym for this group of Anishinaabeg is "Ojibwe" (plural: Ojibweg). This name is commonly anglicized as "Ojibwa". The name "Chippewa" is an anglicized corruption of "Ojibwa". Although many variations exist in literature, "Chippewa" is more common in the USA and "Ojibwa" predominates in Canada, but both terms are used in both countries.
The exact meaning of the name "Ojibwe" is not known; however, two most common explanations are 1) it is derived from "Ojiibwabwe" meaning "[Those who] cook until it puckers" referring to their fire-curing of moccasin seams to make them water-proof and 2) the most likely, it is derived from the word "Ozhibii'iweg" meaning "[Those who] keep Records of a Vision" referring to their form of pictorial writing, and pictographs used in Midewiwin rites.
Across many Ojibwa communities across Canada and the US, the more generalized name of "Anishinaabe(-g)" is becoming more common. Anishinaabeg call each other "Shinobs."
Many still speak the Ojibwe language known as Anishinaabemowin or Ojibwemowin. The language belongs to the Algonquian linguistic group, and is descended from Proto-Algonquian. Among its sister languages are Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Cree, Fox, Menominee, Potawatomi, and Shawnee. Anishinaabemowin is frequently referred to as a "Central Algonquian" language; however, Central Algonquian is an regional grouping rather than a genetic one.
Ojibwemowin is the fourth most spoken Native language in North America (after Navajo, Cree, and Inuktitut). Many decades of fur trading with the French established the language as one of the key trade languages of the Great Lakes and the northern Great Plains.
The Ojibwe presence was made highly visible among non-Native Americans and around the world by the popularity of Longfellow's 1855 epic poem, The Song of Hiawatha. Many toponyms with an origin in Ojibwa words are found in this epic. "Nokomis" means "grandmother" and "Gitchie Gumie" means "Great Lake" or "Sea".