Introduction

The cultures of Native Americans on this continent have had an impact on America.  Some aspects of the life ways and cultures of native peoples have been adapted by contemporary American society.  Native peoples contributed foods, medicines, and languages to the Europeans with whom they came into contact.  Pumpkins, squash, wild rice, and pemmican are examples of foods, which were introduced by Native Americans.  Animal names such as chipmunk, muskrat, raccoon, and caribou are all Algonquin in origin adopted by American society.  Many lakes, rivers, mountains, and states have Native American names.


Traditionally, the Chippewa people were primarily a hunting and gathering society.  They hunted various animals for food and clothing.  They gathered berries, nuts, roots, vegetables, fruits, and wild rice for food and medicinal purposes.  The Chippewa have a legend about mun-dam-in (Corn), which indicates that they were sedentary to a degree.  They coexisted in harmony with nature and had a special relationship to animals evident in the structure of tribal society, which centered on the clan system.  Animals symbolize each clan.  Their legends describe nature’s phenomena.

There are many factors that facilitated the transition and evolution of the Turtle Mountain people into the unique culture that exists today.  The transition from woodlands to plains people vastly influenced the culture of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa.  Food, transportation, clothing, and housing were all adapted to meet the needs of the people and the tribe.  In addition, the blending of other cultures greatly impacted their language and life ways from social structure and language, to customs and dance.

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