The Anishinaabe Migration Story
According to oral tradition, the Anishinaabe (Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi) originally lived along the northeast coast of North America. Seven prophets came to the people and warned they must leave the area or they would be destroyed. They made seven prophecies about the future of the Anishinaabe. These prophecies are called The Seven Fires. They also outlined the path the people were to follow, describing seven places at which they would stop during the migration. The seven places are known today as:

(1) either the mouth of the St. Francis River or Montreal (a "turtle-shaped island")

(2) Niagara Falls

(3) the Detroit River

(4) Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron

(5) Sault Ste. Marie

(6) Spirit Island in Duluth

(7) Madeline Island (of theApostle Islands) in Lake Superior (a "turtle-shaped island')

The Wa-bun-u-keeg' (Ojibwe Daybreak people) stayed in the northeast. The rest, collectively known as the Anishinaabe, began a migration toward the Great Lakes area, which took place over 500 years. Later, the majority of the Wa-bun-u-keeg' were destroyed when the white peoples arrrived.

At their website, The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians describes how the Great Spirit called the Anishinabeg to Kitchi-Gumee (the Great Lakes). They write:

"The Great Spirit once made a bird, and he sent it from the skies to make it's abode on

Earth. The bird came, and when it reached halfway down, among the clouds, it sent forth a

loud and far-sounding cry, which was heard by all who resided on the Earth, and even by

the spirits who made their abode within its bosom. When the bird reached within sight of

the Earth, it circled slowly above the Great Fresh Water Lakes, (Kitchi-Gumee) and again it

uttered its echoing cry. Nerer and nearer it cirlced, looking for a resting place, pleased with

the numerous whitefish that danced and swam in the clear waters and sparkling foam of

the rapids. Satisfied with its chosen seat, again the bird sent forth its loud but solitary cry,

and the Bear clan, Catfish clan, Loon clan, and Marten clan gathered at this call. A large

town was soon congregated and the Crane, whom the Great Spirit sent, presided over all."