Nipissing Tribe

Nipissing Indians, Nipissing Nation, Nipissing First Nation, Nipissing People (‘at the little water or lake’, referring to Lake Nipissing; Nipisirinien, ‘little-water people’). A tribe of the Algonkin. When they first became known to the French, in 1613, they were residing in the vicinity of Lake Nipissing, Ontario, which has been their home during most of the time to the present. Having been attacked, about 1650, by the Iroquois, and many of them slain, they fled for safety to Lake Nipigon 1 , where Allouez visited them in 1667, but they were again on Lake Nipissing in 1671. A part of the tribe afterward went to Three Rivers, and some resided with the Catholic Iroquois at Oka, where they still have a village. Some of these assisted the French in 1756. It is their dialect which is represented in Cuoq’s Lexique de la Langue Algonquine. They were a comparatively unwarlike people, firm friends of the French, readily accepting the Christian teachings of the missionaries. Although having a fixed home, they were semi-nomadic, going south in autumn to the vicinity of the Hurons to fish and prepare food for the winter, which they passed among them. They cultivated the soil to a slight extent only, traded with the Cree in the north, and were much given to jugglery and shamanistic practices, on which account the Hurons and the whites called them Sorcerers. Their chiefs were elective, and their totems, according to Chauvignerie 2 , were the heron, beaver, birchbark, squirrel, and blood.  No reliable statistics in regard to their numbers have been recorded. The Indians now on a reservation on Lake Nipissing are officially classed as Chippewa; they numbered 162 in 1884 and 223 in 1906.  A Nipissing division was called Miskouaha.

Canada, Ontario Canada,

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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  1. Mackenzie, Voy., x1i, note, 1802[]
  2. Chauvignerie in N. Y. Doc. Col. Hist., x, 1053, 1855[]

5 thoughts on “Nipissing Tribe”

  1. I am Robert Duso Jr., the grandson of Irene Duso (Dussault), and our family tree starts with Jene Nicolet, and
    Élie Dussault dit Lafleur Birthdate:September 07, 1635 Birthplace:La Rochelle, France. Husband of Marie-Madeleine-Euphrosine Nicolet (who was Nipissing indian) Élie Dussault dit Lafleur
    Immediate Family:
    Husband of Marie-Madeleine-Euphrosine Nicolet
    Father of Louis Dussault; Pierre Dussault; Jean-François Dussault dit Lafleur and Charles Dussault
    As you can see the family goes way back to the 1600’s in the America’s.

  2. Hello Mary,
    I descend from both the Nipissing People of Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan through my 6th great-grandmother, Anastasia aka Equawaice who married fur trader, Jean Baptiste Cadotte Sr in 1756 as well as the Nanticoke Lenape from Southern New Jersey who are related to the Delaware Lenape Cheswold group. I would be very interested in learning more of the research paper you’ve produced regarding these people. Hope to hear back from you. You can email me at saru308 at yahoo dot com
    Gail Peterson

  3. In addition to the Cree some families Amin the Minquas and the Delaware Lenape Cheswold Moor Amerind groups notably in Penn’s colony farther south in Maryland among the Scandinavian desc immigrants brought in as what slaves, indent. svts. You’ll never guess who is a notable Nishnaabe and member in the red tribe! The southern Iroquois (Cherokees) branched into communities throughout the deep south states US. The Nips traded with the Natchez Inds after contact in the Michigan and Ohiyo Ind country between the French Catholic Chippewas and Shawnees. The ethnohistory of these citizens is being presented in a research paper I am writing now. The Cree Inds in some parts of Northern KY, Missisouri, Western TN were hated by the Sioux citizens! The Heron citizens were affraid of these Nips because collectively they were strong and spiritually powerful. Not to be crossed!

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