Nishnawbe Aski Nation
Nishnawbe Aski Nation is a political organization representing 49 First Nation communities across Treaty 9 and Treaty 5 areas of Northern Ontario, Canada. Re-organized to its present form in 1981, NAN's original objective was "to represent the social and economic aspirations of our people at all levels of government in Canada and Ontario until such time as real effective action is taken to remedy our problems."Its member-First Nations are Ojibwa, Oji-Cree and Cree, thus the languages within NAN include Ojibwe, Oji-cree and Cree. NAN's administrative offices are located in Ontario; the current Grand Chief is Alvin Fiddler of Muskrat Dam Lake First Nation. Founded as Grand Council of Treaty 9 in February, 1973, after a large anticipated deficit resulting from the anti-Reed Campaign and the Hart Commission of 1978, members of the Grand Council Treaty 9 re-organized in 1981 to become the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. After the first executive council of NAN was elected in March 1984, Grand Council Treaty No. 9 ceased to exist.
Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler - Portfolio - Administration and Housing, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, GovernanceDeputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum - Portfolio - Social Services and Youth, Community Wellness Initiatives Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox - Portfolio - Health Policy and Advocacy, Energy, Languages Deputy Grand Chief Jason Smallboy - Portfolio - Economic Development and Recreation, Forestry Nishnawbe Aski Nation represents 49 First Nation communities within northern Ontario. The total land-mass under James Bay Treaty No. 9 and Ontario’s portion of Treaty No. 5, covered by Nishnawbe Aski Nation, covering 2/3 of the province of Ontario. The land area is around 210,000 square miles, 544,000 square km, around the same size as Yemen; the population of membership estimated around 45,000 people. Administration Centennial Commemoration Communications and Media Crisis and Suicide Prevention Education Employment Opportunities Executive Council Fiscal Relations Governance Secretariat Harvesting Unit Health Land Rights and Treaty Lands and Resources Residential School Project Social Services Treaty Discussion Forum Treaty Education Process Women's Council Youth Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative Aboriginal Responsible Gambling Strategy AIDS and Healthy Chiropody Program Decade for Youth and Development Family Violence Project Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder/Child Nutrition Program Healthy Babies / Healthy Children Program NAN Crisis Team Funding and Training Peer Helping Program Recreation Residential School Project The 49 communities are grouped by Tribal Council according to region.
They are Windigo First Nations Council, Wabun Tribal Council, Shibogama First Nations Council, Mushkegowuk Council, Matawa First Nations, Keewaytinook Okimakanak, Independent First Nations Alliance. Six of the 49 communities are not affiliated with a specific Tribal Council. Mishkeegogamang First Nation Mocreebec Council of the Cree Nation Sandy Lake First Nation Independent First Nations Alliance Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation Lac Seul First Nation Muskrat Dam Lake First Nation Pikangikum First Nation Whitesand First Nation Keewaytinook Okimakanak Council Deer Lake First Nation Fort Severn First Nation Keewaywin First Nation McDowell Lake First Nation North Spirit Lake First Nation Poplar Hill First Nation Matawa First Nations Aroland First Nation Constance Lake First Nation Eabametoong First Nation Hornepayne First Nation Marten Falls First Nation Neskantaga First Nation Nibinamik First Nation Webequie First Nation Mushkegowuk Council Attawapiskat First Nation Chapleau Cree First Nation Fort Albany First Nation Fort Albany, Ontario Kashechewan First Nation Missanabie Cree First Nation Moose Cree First Nation Taykwa Tagamou Nation Weenusk First Nation Shibogama First Nations Council Kasabonika First Nation Kingfisher First Nation Wapekeka First Nation Wawakapewin First Nation Wunnumin Lake First Nation Wabun Tribal Council Beaverhouse First Nation Brunswick House First Nation Chapleau Ojibway First Nation Flying Post First Nation Matachewan First Nation Mattagami First Nation Wahgoshig First Nation Windigo First Nations Council Bearskin Lake First Nation Cat Lake First Nation Cat Lake, Ontario Koocheching First Nation North Caribou Lake First Nation Sachigo Lake First Nation Slate Falls First Nation Whitewater First Nation Official website
Anishinabek Educational Institute
Anishinabek Educational Institute is an Aboriginal-owned and controlled post-secondary institution in Canada. Aboriginal institutes partner with colleges and universities to offer students degree programs, certificate programs and diploma programs. AEI was founded to provide greater access to post-secondary education for Aboriginal peoples. AEI delivers post-secondary programs approved by the Ministry of Training and Universities; the educational curriculum was adapted to meet the needs of Aboriginal learners to ensure it reflects community needs, cultural heritage and identity. The AEI main office is located on the Nipissing First Nation, its satellite campuses are on Fort William First Nation and Munsee-Delaware First Nation; the Main Campus is 1 Migiizi Miikan in North Bay. The Munsee-Delaware Campus is located 533 Thomigo Road in Muncey; the Fort William Campus is located in Suite A in Fort William First Nation. In June 1993, The Union of Ontario Indians, at the Anishinabek Grand Council on the Chippewa's of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation, the Chiefs in Assembly directed the Union of Ontario Indians Education Directorate to develop a model of an Anishinabek post-secondary institution.
The model includes provisions for a community-based delivery system. In June 1994, the Chiefs at the Anishinabek Grand Council on the Rocky Bay First Nation, directed that, the Education Directorate formally establish the Anishinabek Educational Institute in accordance with the model, submitted and ratified; the Anishinabek Educational Institute is mandated by the Anishinabek General Assembly, to provide quality education and training programs for First Nation Anishinabek communities. AEI offers university programs through agreements with public colleges and universities. AEI's mission is: to provide a comfortable, supportive learning environment that promotes the traditional values of sharing and respect. To provide community-based programming which will better prepare the student success in an ever-changing world. To remain by and for Anishnabek People. AEI offers courses of study in partnership with all levels of government. Business Diploma Native Early Childhood Education First Nation Child Welfare Advocate Certificate Native Community Worker - Traditional Aboriginal Healing Methods Diploma Pre Health Sciences Certificate Social Service Worker Diploma Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Certificate Native Community Worker - Traditional Registered Practical Nursing Diploma The Government of Canada sponsors an Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool that lists over 680 scholarships and other incentives offered by governments and industry to support Aboriginal post-secondary participation.
Official website Adult Learner Friendly Institutions Canada Anishinabek Nation - Union of Ontario Indians Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council
In Anishinaabe aadizookaan among the Ojibwe, Nanabozho known as Nanabush is a spirit, figures prominently in their storytelling, including the story of the world's creation. Nanabozho is the Ojibwe trickster culture hero. Among the eastern Algonquian peoples located north of the Abenaki areas, a similar character to Nanabozho existed called Tcakabesh in the Algonquin language, Chikapash among the eastern James Bay Crees, Chaakaapaas by the Naskapi, Tshakapesh in the Innu language and Tcikapec in Atikamekw language, changing to various animal forms to various human forms and to various mythical animals such as the Great Porcupine, or Big Skunk, he conquered or diminished these mythical animals to smaller size after killing or changing them with his trickery or shapeshifting. Among the Meskwaki, Wīsakehā serves a similar role, as does Wisakedjak among northern Algonquian peoples and for the Saulteaux in the Great Plains; the Abenaki-influenced Algonquin had a similar figure called Kanòjigàbe.
The Nanabozho name varies in the Ojibwe language depending on whether it is presented with a first-person prefix n-, third-person prefix w-, or null-person prefix m-. In addition, depending on the story and the narrator's role in telling the story, the name may be presented in its regular nominative form or in its vocative form. Due to the way the two o sounds, they are each realized as oo. In some dialects, zh is realized as z; these variations allow for associating the name with the word for "rabbit". Due to the placement of word stress, determined by metrical rules that define a characteristic iambic metrical foot, in which a weak syllable is followed by a strong syllable, in some dialects the weak syllable may be reduced to a schwa, which may be recorded as either i or e. In addition, though the Fiero double-vowel system uses zh, the same sound in other orthographies can be realized as j in the Algonquin system or š in the Saulteaux-Cree system. To this mix, depending on if the transcriber used French or English, the Anishinaabe name may be transcribed to fit the phonetic patterns of one of the two said languages.
Nanabozho is one of four sons from what Europeans will interpret as spirits of directions. He has a human mother, E-bangishimog, a spirit father. Nanabozho most appears in the shape of a rabbit and is characterized as a trickster. In his rabbit form, he is called Chi-waabooz, he was sent to Earth by Gitche Manitou to teach the Ojibwe. One of his first tasks was to name all the animals. Nanabozho is considered to be the founder of Midewiwin, he is the inventor of fishing and hieroglyphs. This historical figure is a co-creator of the world. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem, The Song of Hiawatha is an outsider retelling of several Nanabozho stories based on research conducted by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft. Like the transcription variations found among "Nanabozho," Mishaabooz is transcribed into French as Michabous and represented in English as Michabou. Additional name variations include: "Winneboujou, Wenabozho, Waynaboozhoo, Nanaboozhoo, Nanabushu, Nanapush, Nenabozho, Manabush, Manibozho, Minabozho, Manibush, Manabozo, Manabusch, Manabus, Nanaboojoo, Nanaboso, Nenabuc, Amenapush, Ne-Naw-bo-zhoo, Kwi-wi-sens Nenaw-bo-zhoo Michabo, Michabous, Mishabo, Misabos, Messou" Aayaase Glooscap Naniboujou Club Lodge Sleeping Giant Winneboujou, Wisconsin Wisakedjak Memegweshi Benton-Banai, Edward.
The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway. Hayward, WI: Indian Country Communications, 1988. Chamberlain, A. F. "Nanibozhu amongst the Otchipwe and other Algonkian tribes," Journal of American Folklore 4: 193-213. Johnston, Basil. Ojibway Heritage. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1976. Barnouw, Victor. Wisconsin Chippewa Tales. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1977. Webkamigad, Howard. Ottawa Stories from the Springs. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2015. "Manabosho's Hieroglyphics" recorded by Seth Eastman at Northern Illinois University "Nanabozo" in The Canadian Encyclopedia "Nanabozho" in Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, 1907. Reproduced in Handbook of Indians of Canada, 1913. How Nanabush Created the World Nanabush and the Giant Beaver The Legend of'Nanabozho' Nanabozho Native American: North Gods: Algonquin Nanabozho, Access genealogy
Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians
The Bad River Lapointe Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians are a federally recognized tribe of Ojibwe people. The Bad River Reservation is located on the south shore of Lake Superior and has a land area of 156,000 acres in northern Wisconsin straddling Ashland and Iron counties; the tribe has 7,000 members, of whom about 1,800 lived on the reservation during the 2000 census. Most people live in one of four communities: Odanah, Birch Hill, or Frank's Field/Aspen Estates. Odanah, the administrative and cultural center, is located five miles east of the town of Ashland on U. S. Highway 2. New Odanah is located on the reservation. Over 90% of the reservation is undeveloped land. According to Anishinaabe prophecy, Gichi Manidoo, the Great Spirit, told the Anishinaabe people to move west from the Atlantic coast until they found the "food that grows on water." After a series of stops and divisions, the branch of Anishinaabe known as the Lake Superior Chippewa found wild rice near the Chequamegon Bay on the south shore of Lake Superior, at the site of the present-day Bad River Lapointe Reservation.
They made their final stopping place at nearby Madeline Island. After the 17th century, Anishinaabe people settled throughout northern Wisconsin into lands disputed with the Dakota Sioux and the Meskwaki; those that remained near the trading post of La Pointe on Madeline Island were known collectively as the La Pointe Band. They pursued other seasonal occupations such as berry-picking, harvesting maple sugar, ricing and gathering nuts and medicinal plants. After a disastrous attempt at removing the Lake Superior Bands in the 19th century, which resulted in the Sandy Lake Tragedy, the U. S. government agreed to set up permanent reservations in Wisconsin. At this point, the La Pointe band split: members who had converted to Roman Catholicism were led by Kechewaishke and took a reservation at Red Cliff; those who maintained traditional Midewiwin beliefs settled at Bad River. The two bands, maintain close relations to this day; the reservation land was set aside for the Bad River Lapointe Band in the Treaty of La Pointe, made with the United States and signed on Madeline Island on September 30, 1854.
The treaty land included 2,000 acres on Madeline Island, considered the center of the Ojibwe Nation. The band is one of six federally recognized tribes in present-day Wisconsin. During the late 19th century, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration set up St. Mary's School in Odanah, an Indian boarding school. Students came from a variety of tribes to learn western topics, as well as Christianity. During this period, timber companies on the reservation leased land for lumbering, but they cheated the tribe and destroyed much of the land by overlogging. During the Allotment period, the tribe leased half its land base, which covered all the area of modern-day Ashland, Wisconsin; as Lake Superior Ojibwe, the Bad River Lapointe Band retains its rights to hunt, gather wild rice, medicinal plants over the ceded territory of northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. The tribe pressed these claims throughout the 20th century. Tribal members from Bad River and the other Lake Superior bands resumed their traditional practice of spear fishing, resulting in the Wisconsin Walleye War with recreational and sports fishermen.
In 1996, a group of Ojibwe activists known as the Anishinaabe Ogitchida blocked a railroad shipment of sulfuric acid from crossing the reservation. The protestors complained the acid posed an environmental danger to reservation lands and the Lake Superior watershed; the national attention brought by the protests forced the Environmental Protection Agency to stop the use of acid in the mine. Sixteen thousand acres of the reservation are high-quality wetlands due the Kakagon River and Bad River sloughs, registered by the United States government under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance; the wetlands are ideal for the cultivation of the historical crop of the Ojibwe. The sloughs constitute the only remaining extensive coastal wild rice marsh in the Great Lakes region. Due to its habitat and proximity to Madeline Island, Bad River is of major importance to the Ojibwe Nation. People from all over Ojibwe Country come for the annual August Celebration of the manoomin, or wild rice harvest.
The headquarters of the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission is on the Bad River Reservation. The tribe owns and operates a fish hatchery, which stocks local rivers and lakes with 15 million walleye annually; the Bad River Band Of Lapoint Ojibwe own and operate a casino, as well as the Moccasin Trail gas station and grocery store complex. The Tribe runs a clinic, local transit, tribal school and Head Start, as well as a police and volunteer fire department for its people, it has several community facilities: a tribal fire hall and youth center in the Birch Hill community, a utility garage in the Franks Field community. In 2014, the Tribe announced it will not renew the lease of 18 non-native people's land lease, on Madeline Island, known as the Amnicon Bay Association; the 50-year lease, which began in 1967, ended in August 2017. Bad River Reservation is nearly covered by a forest and swamps. In Anishinaabemowin, they called the Anishinaabe people who lived around swamps Omashkiigowag, from mashkiig meaning "swamp".
The people go by Mashkigonaabeg, which means "Swampy-men:, where the suffix -naabe is "male" or "man" in the Anishinaabe
A powwow is a social gathering held by many different Native American communities. A modern pow wow is a specific type of event for Native American people to meet and dance, sing and honor their cultures. Pow wows may be public. There is a dancing competition, with many different types of traditional dances and regalia with significant prize money awarded. Pow wows vary in length from a one-day event, to major pow wows called for a special occasion which can be up to one week long. In popular culture, such as older Western movies, the term has been used to describe any gathering of Native Americans, or to refer to any type of meeting, such as among military personnel; this usage is sometimes discouraged because it can be seen as minimizing the cultural and ceremonial importance of pow wows. The word “pow wow” is derived from the Narragansett word powwaw, meaning "spiritual leader"; the term itself has different variants including Powaw, Pawaw and Pawau. A number of different tribes claim to have held the “first” pow wow.
Public dances that most resemble what we now know as pow wows were most common in the Great Plains region of the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a time when the United States government fragmented many Native communities in the hopes of acquiring land for economic exploitation. In 1923, Charles Burke, Commissioner of Indian Affairs in the United States, passed legislation modeled on Circular 1665, which he published in 1921, that limited the times of the year in which Native Americans could practice traditional dance, which he deemed as directly threatening the Christian religion. However, many Native communities continued to gather together in secret to practice their cultures’ dance and music, in defiance of this, other, legislation. By the mid-nineteenth century, pow wows were being held in the Great Lakes region. Planning for a pow wow begins months even a year, in advance of the event by a group of people referred to as a pow wow committee. Pow wows may be sponsored by a tribal organization, by an American Native community within an urban area, a Native American Studies program or American Native club on a college or university campus, tribe, or any other organization that can provide startup funds and volunteer workers.
A pow wow committee consists of a number of individuals. If a pow wow has a sponsor, such as a tribe, college, or organization, many or all members of the committee may come from that group; the committee is responsible to recruit and hire the head staff, publicize the pow wow, secure a location, recruit vendors who pay for the right to set up and sell food or merchandise at the pow wow. The head staff of a pow wow are the people who run the event on the day or days it occurs, they are hired by the pow wow committee several months in advance, as the quality of the head staff can affect attendance. To be chosen as part of the head staff is an honor, showing respect for the person's skills or dedication; the arena director is the person in charge during the pow wow. Sometimes the arena director is referred to as the whip man, sometimes the whip man is the arena director's assistant, many pow wows don't have a whip man; the arena director makes sure dancers are dancing during the pow wow and that the drum groups know what type of song to sing.
If there are contests the arena director is responsible for providing judges, though they have another assistant, the head judge. The arena director is responsible for organizing any ceremonies that may be required during the pow wow, such as when an eagle feather is dropped, others as required. One of the main duties of the arena director is to ensure that the dance arena is treated with the proper respect from visitors to the pow wow; the master of ceremonies, or MC, is the voice of the pow wow. It is his job to keep the singers and public informed as to what is happening; the MC sets the schedule of events, maintains the drum rotation, or order of when each drum group gets to sing. The MC is responsible for filling any dead air time that may occur during the pow wow with jokes; the MC runs any raffles or other contests that may happen during the pow wow. The head dancers consist of the Head Man Dancer and the Head Woman Dancer, Head Teen Dancers, Head Little Boy and Girl Dancers, Head Golden Age Dancers, a Head Gourd Dancer if the pow wow has a Gourd Dance.
The head dancers lead the other dancers in the grand entry or parade of dancers that opens a pow wow. In many cases, the head dancers are responsible for leading the dancers during songs, dancers will not enter the arena unless the head dancers are out dancing; the singers while singing. Host drums are responsible for singing the songs at the beginning and end of a pow wow session a starting song, the grand entry song, a flag song, a veterans or victory song to start the pow-wow, a flag song, retreat song and closing song to end the pow wow. Additionally, if a pow-wow has gourd dancing, the Southern Host Drum is the drum that sings all the gourd songs, though another drum can perform them; the host drums are called upon to sing special songs during the pow-wow. Famous host drums include Black Lodge Singers, Cozad Singers, Yellowhammer. A pow wow is set up as a series of large circles; the center circle is the dance arena, outside of, a larger circle consisting of the MC's table, drum groups, sitting areas for dancers and their families.
Beyond these two circles for participants is an area for spectators, while outside of all are designated areas with vendo
Anishinaabe is the autonym for a group of culturally related indigenous peoples in what is known today as Canada and the United States. These include the Odawa, Ojibwe, Oji-Cree, Algonquin peoples; the Anishinaabeg speak Anishinaabemowin, or Anishinaabe languages that belong to the Algonquian language family. They lived in the Northeast Woodlands and Subarctic; the word Anishinaabeg translates to "people from whence lowered." Another definition refers to "the good humans," meaning those who are on the right road or path given to them by the Creator Gitche Manitou, or Great Spirit. Basil Johnston, an Ojibwe historian and author, wrote that the term's literal translation is "Beings Made Out of Nothing" or "Spontaneous Beings." Anishinaabe myths claim. Anishinaabe is mistakenly considered a synonym of Ojibwe. Anishinaabe has many different spellings. Different spelling systems may spell certain consonants differently; the name Anishinaabe is shortened to Nishnaabe by Odawa people. The cognate Neshnabé comes from the Potawatomi, a people long allied with the Odawa and Ojibwe in the Council of Three Fires.
The Nipissing and Algonquin are identified as Anishinaabe, but are not part of the Council of Three Fires. Related to the Ojibwe and speaking a language mutually intelligible with Anishinaabemowin are the Oji-Cree, their most common autonym is Anishinini and they call their language Anishininiimowin. Among the Anishinaabeg, the Ojibwe collectively call the Nipissings and the Algonquins Odishkwaagamii, while those among the Nipissings who identify themselves as Algonquins call the Algonquins proper Omàmiwinini. Not all Anishinaabemowin-speakers call themselves Anishinaabeg; the Ojibwe people who moved to what are now the prairie provinces of Canada call themselves Nakawē and call their branch of the Anishinaabe language Nakawēmowin.. Particular Anishinaabeg groups have different names from region to region. According to Anishinabe tradition, from records of wiigwaasabak, the people migrated from the eastern areas of North America, from along the East Coast. In old stories, the homeland was called Turtle Island.
This comes from the idea that the universe, the Earth, or the continent of North America are all sometimes understood as being the back of a great turtle, a mysterious natural consciousness. The Anishinaabe oral history considers the Anishinaabe peoples as descendents of the Abenaki people and refers to them as the "Fathers". Another Anishinaabe oral history considers the Abenaki as descendents of the Lenape, thus refers to them as "Grandfathers". However, Cree oral traditions consider the Anishinaabe as their descendants, not the Abenakis. A number of complementary origin concepts exist within the oral traditions of the Anishinaabe. According to the oral history, seven great miigis appeared to the Anishinaabe peoples in the Waabanakiing to teach the people about the midewiwin life-style. One great miigis was too spiritually powerful and would kill people in the Waabanakiing whenever they were in its presence; this being returned to the depths of the ocean, leaving the six great miigis to teach the people.
The Anishinaabe are one of the First Nations in Canada. Each of the six miigis established separate doodem for the people. Of these doodem, five clan systems appeared: Awaazisii, Aan'aawenh and Moozoonii. A sixth was added. Waabizheshi. After founding the doodem, the six miigis returned to the depths of the ocean as well; some oral histories surmise that if the seventh miigis had stayed, it would have established the Animikii Thunderbird doodem. The powerful miigis returned in a vision relating a prophecy to the people, it said that the Anishinaabeg needed to move west to keep their traditional ways alive, because of the many new settlements and people not of Anishinaabe blood who would soon arrive. The migration path of the Anishinaabe peoples would become a series of smaller Turtle Islands, confirmed by the miigis shells. After receiving assurance from their "Allied Brothers" and "Father" of their safety in crossing other tribal territory, the Anishinaabeg moved inland, they advanced along the St. Lawrence River to the Ottawa River and through to Lake Nipissing, to the Great Lakes.
The first of these smaller Turtle Islands was Mooniyaa. Here the Anishinaabeg divided into two groups: one that travelled up and settled along the Ottawa River, the core group who proceeded to the "second stopping place" near Niagara Falls. By the time the Anishinaabeg established their "third stopping place" near the present city of Detroit, the Anishinaabeg had divided into six distinct nations: Algonquin, Missisauga, Ojibwa and Potawatomi. While the Odawa established their long-held cultural centre on Manitoulin Island, the Ojibwe established their centre in the Sault Ste. Marie region of Ontario, Canada. With expansion of trade with the French and the British, fostered by avai
Wampum is a traditional shell bead of the Eastern Woodlands tribes of American Indians. It includes the white shell beads hand fashioned from the North Atlantic channeled whelk shell and the white and purple beads made from the quahog or Western North Atlantic hard-shelled clam. Before European contact, strings of wampum were used for storytelling, ceremonial gifts, recording important treaties and historical events, such as the Two Row Wampum Treaty or The Hiawatha Belt. Wampum was used by the northeastern Indian tribes as a means of exchange, strung together in lengths for convenience; the first Colonists adopted it as a currency in trading with them. The Colonists applied their technologies to more efficiently produce wampum, which caused inflation and its obsolescence as currency; the term wampum referred only to the white beads which are made of the inner spiral or columella of the Channeled whelk shell Busycotypus canaliculatus or Busycotypus carica. Sewant or suckauhock beads are the black or purple shell beads made from the quahog or poquahock clamshell Mercenaria mercenaria.
Sewant or Zeewant was the term used for this currency by the New Netherland colonists. Common terms for the dark and white beads are saki; the clams and whelks used for making wampum are found only along Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay. The Lenape name for Long Island is Sewanacky. Wampum beads are tubular in shape a quarter of an inch long and an eighth inch wide. One 17th-century Seneca wampum belt featured beads 2.5 inches long. Women artisans traditionally made wampum beads by rounding small pieces of whelk shells piercing them with a hole before stringing them. Wooden pump drills with quartz drill bits and steatite weights were used to drill the shells; the unfinished beads would be strung together and rolled on a grinding stone with water and sand until they were smooth. The beads would be strung or woven on deer hide thongs, milkweed bast, or basswood fibers; the term wampum is a shortening of wampumpeag, derived from the Massachusett or Narragansett word meaning "white strings of shell beads."
The Proto-Algonquian reconstructed form is thought to be *wa·p-a·py-aki, "white strings." In New York, wampum beads have been discovered dating before 1510. The introduction of European metal tools revolutionized the production of wampum. Dutch colonists discovered the importance of wampum as a means of exchange between tribes, they began mass-producing it in workshops. John Campbell established such a factory in Pascack, New Jersey which manufactured wampum into the early 20th century; the Iroquois used wampum as a certificate of authority. It was used for official purposes and religious ceremonies, it was used as a way to bind peace between tribes. Among the Iroquois, every chief and every clan mother has a certain string of wampum that serves as their certificate of office; when they pass on or are removed from their station, the string will pass on to the new leader. Runners carrying messages during colonial times would present the wampum showing that they had the authority to carry the message.
As a method of recording and an aid in narrating, Iroquois warriors with exceptional skills were provided training in interpreting the wampum belts. As the Keepers of the Central Fire, the Onondaga Nation was trusted with the task of keeping all wampum records. Wampum is still used to this day in the ceremony of raising up a new chief and in the Iroquois Thanksgiving ceremonies. True wampum is scarce today and only wampum strings are used; the Wampum was central to the giving of names, in which the names and titles of deceased persons were passed on to others. Deceased individuals of high office are replaced, as a wampum inscribed with the name of the deceased is laid on the shoulders of the successor, the successor may shake off the Wampum and reject the transfer of name; the reception of a name may transfer personal history, previous obligations of the deceased, e.g. the successor of a person killed in war may be obligated to avenge the death of the names previous holder, or care for the deceased persons family as their own....
The Iroquoians shared a particular constitution: they saw their societies not as a collection of living individuals but as a collection of eternal names, which over the course of times passed from one individual holder to another. Just as the wampum enabled the continuation of names and the histories of persons, the wampum was central to establishing and renewing peace between clans and families; when a man representing his respective social unit met another, he would offer one wampum inscribed with mnemonic symbols representing the purpose of the meeting or message. The wampum, facilitated the most essential practices in holding the Iroquois society together; when Europeans came to the Americas, they adopted wampum as money to trade with the native peoples of New England and New York. Wampum was legal tender in New England from 1637 to 1661; the colonial government in New Jersey issued a proclamation setting the rate at six white or three black to one penny. The black shells were rarer than the white shells and so were worth more, which led people to dye the white and dilute the value of black shells.
Robert Beverley, Jr. of Virginia Colony wrote about tribes in Virginia