Published on June 15, 2012 by Amy
Minnesota is home to more bands of the Ojibwe or Chippewa nation than any other state. All but one of the seven federally recognized Ojibwe reservations (the Red Lake Reservation) have come together as the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. The tribe is comprised of the Bois Forte (formerly Nett Lake), the Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake (which has two bands, the Mississippi and Pillanger Bands), the Mille Lacs and the White Earth Ojibwe. These seven bands on six reservations total nearly 13,000 Ojibwe making the Minnesota Chippewa one of the largest single bodies of one tribe.
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Each band/reservation has its own distinctive flag but their is also a separate flag employed by the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. That flag is white and bears the seal of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe in the center.
The seal depicts a sunrise over the lakes of Minnesota and traditional elements of Ojibwe life along the shore. These include a typical Ojibwe home of the eighteenth century and a birchbark canoe. Many of the individual elements found in the seal of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe can be found in the seal employed by its constituent bands. The rising sun, for example, is featured in the flag of the Mille Lacs Band; while the conifer tree can be found in the flag of the Leech Lake Ojibwe.
Surrounding the seal is a yellow band bearing the tribe’s name across the top and repeating it in the Anishinabe language of the Ojibwe at the base of the seal. The date, June 18, 1934, the founding date of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe appears below the Anishinabe spelling. Ringing the seal within the yellow band, starting at the beginning of the native spelling and going counter clockwise ending at the end of the Anishinabe spelling is a thin black arrow.