After one year at the community college she decided to transfer to the University of Mary and plans on graduating with medical lab science degree. Her passions are reading, nail art, drawing, and spending quality time with her family and friends. Although Maria speaks English it is important as a Chippewa to learn the native language Ojibwa. She is not fluent in Ojibwa but she loves listening and learning the language from her grandmother. The Ojibwa language is spoken roughly by 40,000 to 50,000 people (Roy, 2006). The Chippewa tribe also known as Ojibwa was the third largest Native American group with a population of 104,000, which was after the Cherokee and the Navajo tribes (Roy, 2006).
Federally recognized Ojibwa reservations are found in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, and North Dakota. When I asked Maria about her cultural views of illness she really emphasized that health is a concern for their tribe. Native American groups do share concerns of poor health across the country. There are many incidences of chemical dependency, diabetes, fetal alcohol syndromes, obesity, suicidal and accidental deaths (Roy, 2006). Although there is a blend of traditional and modern treatment methods used in Belcourt today these issues are still relevant. Maria also mentioned how important it is in their culture that not just immediate family but extended family all come to each other’s aides when one fall ills.
Some variations that were mentioned in the article I found were about religious background. Christianity was adopted slowly, but most modern Chippewa are Roman Catholic or Protestant Episcopalian. Some other variations are with the older generations and the youth. The majority of the elders can speak fluent Ojibwa while the younger generations barely any can speak Ojibwa let alone are fluent in the native tongue. Maria talked about how smudging, spirit fire, drums, wood work, basket weaving, and powwow’s are all symbolic in their culture.