Last modified: 2012-11-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: bois forte band | ojibwe | chippewa | minnesota | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 26 December 2007
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe or Chippewa - Minnesota
Minnesota, the "Land of Ten Thousand Lakes", is home to many of this band of Chippewas, also called Ojibwes or in their own language Anishinabes. Six of the reservations within Minnesota have banded together to form the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. One of these six is the Bois Forte Band which is based on the Nett Lake Reservation in northernmost Minnesota. The other five members are the Fond du Lac, the Grand Portage, the Leech Lake, the Mille Lacs and the White Earth Chippewa.
On the Nett Lake Reservation, some 1,300 members reside on about 42,000 acres of land. Its population size places at the median for the six Minnesota Chippewa tribal members when it comes to size.
© Donald Healy 2008
The flag of the Bois Forte Band is a bicolor of white over light blue stripes. It bears the tribal seal in the center. The seal, which occupies almost three quarters of the width of the flag, has many elements in common with fellow Minnesota Chippewa member - the Mille Lacs Chippewa.
The seal is circular. It is ringed by a white band bearing the name "Bois Forte Band of Chippewa" in black letters. Inside the seal, it is divided horizontally in half, and the bottom half is further subdivided into quarters. The top half of the seal is light blue and represents the clear skies of Northern Minnesota. Rising into the sky is an orange sun. On either side of the sun are white birds flying through the air. The bottom two quarters are divided into brown and light blue segments, representing the earth and the waters of Nett Lake. Atop the "land", wild grasses shown in green, grow skyward. Above the surface of the "lake", green reeds also stretch upwards. Overlaid on the entire backdrop is a green representation of the most important plant in the daily life of the ancient Anishinabe, the wild rice plant, which grows in the lakes of the upper Midwest.
Both the Bois Forte Band and the Mille Lacs Chippewa recall the sun, water, plant life and the wild rice plant one their seals. The repetition of these symbols on flags of differing Chippewa show the importance of these elements in the life and history of the Chippewa of northern Minnesota.
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 26 December 2007