Anishinaabe Word of The Day

White Birch (waabishkizi wiigwas)

Betula papyrifera (paper birch,[5] also known as (American) white birch[5] and canoe birch[5]) is a short-lived species of birch native to northern North America. Paper birch is named after the tree’s thin white bark, which often peels in paper-like layers from the trunk. Paper birch is often one of the first species to colonize a burned area within the northern latitudes, and is an important species for moose browsing. Primary commercial uses for paper birch wood are as boltwood and sawlogs, while secondary products include firewood and pulpwood.[6] It is the provincial tree of Saskatchewan and the state tree of New Hampshire.[7][8]


Audio Piece

Anishinaabe Story

Source (

Once there was a spirit-boy named Winabojo who taught the Ojibway how to live in the natural world.

One day he asked his grandmother what was the biggest fish in the lake. She replied that there was an enormous fish that lived by a rock ledge but it was very powerful and would harm Winabojo. No one could kill the fish because no one could get down there where it lived.

Winabojo thought about how to hunt this fish, so he got some wood to make a bow and arrows. Then he asked his grandmother if there were any birds whose feathers could be put on the arrows to make them effective. She told Winabojo the only feathers strong enough come from a bird that lives in the sky, at the opening of the clouds. One would have to go there to get these feathers.

Winabojo climbed to the highest cliff and discovered a nest of the Thunderbirds and saw their babies. Winabojo turned into a rabbit so the Thunderbirds would bring him to their nest for their babies to play with. Winnabojo stayed in the nest for a long time; the babies were cruel to him and tossed him around. Eventually Thunderbirds went away to hunt for more food for their babies. Winabojo turned back to a boy; he clubbed the baby Thunderbirds and pulled out their feathers Before their parents could return, Winabojo jumped from the high nest with the bundle of feathers but he was knocked out, but he was not killed because he was a manido.

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Related Words


wiigwaas na a birch

white birch
Betula papyrifera

wiigwaasaatig na a birch tree

paper birch
Betula papyrifera

See also:
 wiigwaas na wiigwaasi-mitig na

wiigwaasi-mitig na a birch

white birch

Betula papyrifera


many birches

wiigwaasikaa vii there are (many) birches

yellow birch

wiinizik na a yellow birch

yellow birch
Betula alleghaniensis