The Ottawa (also Odawa, or Odaawaa), meaning "traders," are a Native American and First Nations people. They are related to but distinct from the Ojibwe nation. They lived near the northern shores of Lake Huron. There are approximately 15,000 Ottawa living in Michigan, Ontario, and Oklahoma. The Ottawa language, like the Ojibwe language, is part of the Algonquian language family.The Ottawas and Chippewas (or Ojibways) were kinfolk and allies who spoke different dialects of the same language (just like most Americans and Canadians speak English, but with different accents). However, also like America and Canada, the Chippewa and Ottawa tribes were culturally and politically independent, with distinct leadership and customs. After Europeans arrived, some groups of Ottawas and Ojibways banded together for safety's sake, but in most cases, the two nations remain independent.

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