The Ojibwe language is one of a widespread family of North American Indian languages known as the Algonquian language family. Ojibwe is spoken by perhaps 45,000 people in Canadaand 10,000 in the United States. Although the English name “Chippewa” is commonly used both for the people and their ancestral language in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, in the language itself the people are the Anishinaabeg and the language is called Anishinaabemowin or Ojibwemowin. “Ojibwe” or “Ojibwa” is the name used in Ontario; “Saulteaux” in Manitoba and Saskatchewan; “Odawa” or “Ottawa” on Manitoulin Island in Ontario and in parts of Michigan; and “Algonquin” in Eastern Ontario and Quebec.
In Northwestern Ontario, around Sandy Lake and Big Trout Lake, the name “Cree” is used, although the languages there are more Ojibwe than Cree.
There are a number of regional dialects of Ojibwe. They may differ slightly, but are generally mutually understandable. The dialects represented in the Pimsleur Program are widely used in the RedLake, Leech Lake, and White Earth Reservations in Northern Minnesota.
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