Ojibwe Place Names for the Duluth Area

Various Ojibwe names are associated with the area of Duluth. The name Waiekwakitchigami is the Ojibwe name translated by the French as Fond du Lac, meaning the bottom or end of the lake. In historical accounts and on early maps the name Fond du Lac and the Ojibwe version of the name applied to the entire Duluth-Superior area.

Another name, Onigamiinsing, meaning "little portage," is now often used to apply to the current city of Duluth. It refers to the ancient portage across Minnesota Point, roughly located where the ship canal is located today.

Nagaajiwanaang, the name now used to refer to the Fond du Lac Reservation has been translated as "where the flow of the river stops." While the name is sometimes assumed to be the Ojibwe version of French Fond du Lac, the name originally applied to the area below the rapids of the St. Louis River where the current of the river slowed prior to entering the harbor, roughly in the Fond du Lac neighborhood of the city of Duluth where the American Fur Company trading post was located after the War of 1812.

Other Ojibwe place names can be found on the Interactive Map.

Associated Images
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