Author:
Rick Erickson, Sandy Benton
Subject:
Earth and Space Science, Geology, Language Education (ESL), Global Education, Environmental Science, American Indian Studies, Geography, World Languages
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration, Homework/Assignment, Learning Task, Module, Teaching/Learning Strategy, Unit of Study
Level:
Lower Primary, Middle School, High School, Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division, Adult Education
Tags:
  • Anishinaabe
  • Apostle
  • Islands
  • Minis
  • Names
  • Ominisan
  • Place
  • Wenabozho
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Audio, Downloadable docs, Graphics/Photos, Text/HTML, Video

    Education Standards

    Anishinaabe Place Names: Wenabozho Ominisan

    Overview

    This text set focuses on the Anishinaabe names for the Wenabozho Ominisan. Wenabozho is an important Anishinaabe figure, a trickster. Ominisan is the Anishinaabe word for islands. Wenabozho Ominisan (the islands of Wenabozho) is the Anishinaabe way to refer to what is also known as the Apostle Islands archipelago.

    Anishinaabe Place Names: Wenabozho Ominisan

    Anishinaabe Place Names: Wenabozho Ominisan

    Grade Level: 6-12

    Content Area: Science, social studies

    Author: Rick Erickson, Bayfield High School, Chemistry, Physics and Alternative Education Teacher.

    Environmental Literacy Standards Addressed:

    Standard 1: ELS.C1: Students develop and connect with their sense of place and well-being through observation, exploration, and questioning.

    Standard 6: Students analyze the dynamic balance between natural and cultural systems.

     

    Context: 

    A place-based curriculum can help students from diverse backgrounds connect with their surroundings and develop a sense of wonder related to local culture and ecology. Connecting course content to local places familiar to students makes the content more relevant which leads to deeper engagement and learning. 

    This text set focuses on the Anishinaabe names for the Wenabozho Ominisan. Wenabozho is an important Anishinaabe figure, a trickster. Ominisan is the Anishinaabe word for islands. Wenabozho Ominisan (the islands of Wenabozho) is the Anishinaabe way to refer to what is also known as the Apostle Islands archipelago. Some of the Anishinaabe island names and English names are literal translations. Yet, some of the Anishinaabe names describe a characteristic or use of the island in a manner different from the English names. The text set provides resources that will not only allow students to learn the Anishinaabe names but also provide insight into traditional uses and perspectives of these islands. 

    Suggested order of resource use:

    1. The WXPR radio broadcast is a good place to start. It provides an introduction into the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore efforts to use the Anishinaabe place names.

    2. It would be most useful to access the Ojibwe double vowel sound chart to learn the sounds of the Ojibwe language. 

    3. Next, use the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife maps to look at the geography of the islands and begin to look at the Anishinaabe place names. 

    4. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore resource would be a natural next step to listen to the pronunciations of the Ojibwemowin names. 

    5. Finally, the Big Top Chautauqua performance related to the island names could be presented. 

    6. The Ojibwe People’s Dictionary resource can be used throughout the unit to search for Ojibwemowin terms and place names. 

    7. The Kodner and Hale resources provide information related to the English names of islands and could be used to supplement place-name discussions.


    Annotated Bibliography:

    Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: Ojibwe Culture: Ojibwe Audio - Place Names.

    https://www.nps.gov/apis/learn/historyculture/ojibwemowin-place-names.htm#:~:text=The%20name%20for%20all%20of,the%20one%20that%20made%20them.

    This resource was produced by the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and contains a map with the Anishinaabemowin and English names of the islands as well as several other local places. This resource also includes audio recordings that clearly state the Anishinaabe pronunciations.

     

    Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, 2007,  Gidakiiminaan: Our Earth. An Anishinaabe atlas of the 1836 (Upper Michigan), 1837, and 1842 treaty ceded territories. https://glifwc.org/publications/pdf/Atlas.pdf.

    This resource provides Anishinaabe place names for a wide range of places within the Wisconsin ceded territories including the Wenabozho Ominisan and other areas. This resource also includes maps of the areas which could be very valuable for instruction.


     

    Hale, H. E. (1917). How the Apostle Islands were named. Wisconsin Historical Society Press. Retrieved 2023, from https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/4630059.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3Ad60683af79c2b033eab4f8235170f7d1&ab_segments=&origin=&initiator=&acceptTC=1 

    The text set focuses on Anishinaabe island names. This Wisconsin Historical Society article describes how some of the Apostle Islands received their English names and can be used as a supplement to discussions about place names.

     

    Kodner, E. (2008, February 9). How did Madeline Island get its name? ActiveRain. Retrieved April 7, 2023, from https://activerain.com/blogsview/373472/how-did-madeline-island-get-its-name- 

    This article explains how the English name for Madeline Island came to be. It was named after Chief White Crane’s daughter - her English name.


     

    Ojibwe double vowel sound chart - fdlrezk12.com. (n.d.). Retrieved April 5, 2023, from https://fdlrezk12.com/documents/Ojibwe_Double_Vowel_Sound_Chart.pdf 

    This resource provides the sounds associated with the written letters of the Ojibwemowin Double Vowel system. It will allow the user to be able to correctly pronounce each word.

     

    The Ojibwe People’s Dictionary. Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. 

    Child, B. J. (Developer), & Nichols, J. (Developer). (2012-2021). The Ojibwe People’s Dictionary. Web publication/site http://ojibwe.lib.umn.edu

    This resource is a comprehensive dictionary of Ojibwemowin words and pronunciations. Place names are not a focus of this resource, yet it can be used to identify translations. This resource also includes audio recordings of the Ojibwemowin terms.

     

    WXPR | By Ben Meyer. (2022, April 13). Apostle Islands National Lakeshore adds Ojibwe place names to maps, website. WXPR. Retrieved April 7, 2023, from https://www.wxpr.org/native-american-news/2022-04-13/apostle-islands-national-lakeshore-adds-ojibwe-place-names-to-maps-website 

    Listen to a two-minute radio broadcast telling the story about the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore’s efforts to use the Anishinaabe island names in printed and electronic brochures, publications, and maps.

     

    YouTube. (2022, January 28). Anishinaabe Dibaajimowin: An ojibwe story • tiny tent show • season 2 episode 5. YouTube. Retrieved April 5, 2023, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LswaTLe72fE 

    Big Top Chautauqua (BTC) is a venue that supports entertainment venues in the Bayfield area. One of the house shows is Anishinaabe Dibaajimowin: An Ojibwe Story. One segment within that show features a song highlighting the Ojibwemowin/Anishinaabemowin names of what is known in English as the Apostle Islands. This link includes the full BTC show. The segment related to the islands can be found at this timestamp: 46:50 - 51:50.