The history of the Anishinaabeg and Lake Superior is very long. Early French and English documents named the native people Ojibwe or Chippewa. But they call themselves Anishinaabe. They call Lake Superior, Gichigami. Wild Rice is manoomin, and waawaashkeshi is the deer. Names such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Manitou, Chequamegon, Keewenaw are from the Anishinaabe.
The Anishinaabe still speak their language. Wes Ballinger is one of several people making sure it will be heard for hundreds of years to come. Ballinger is working in the language, using it, teaching it, learning it, and preserving it. It’s his job, as head of the language department for the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Commission, at Bad River, WI.