Traditional breastfeeding practices of the Ojibwe of Northern Minnesota

Health Care Women Int. 2003 Jan;24(1):49-61. doi: 10.1080/07399330390170033.


The Ojibwe have transitioned over the past 100 years from a woodland people moving with the seasons, to forced confinement on rural reservations, to inner-city poverty. Traditionally, Ojibwe women's knowledge has been passed through the generations orally. Using ethnographic methods, data were gathered on traditional infant feeding practices from Ojibwe women (N = 44). Few of these traditions have been documented previously. Some traditions are similar to other indigenous cultures while others are culturally specific. Understanding traditional breastfeeding practices can provide valuable information for those working with indigenous people in a variety of settings, so that they create services that are consistent with traditional values.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Feeding / ethnology*
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American* / statistics & numerical data
  • Infant Care* / methods
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Mother-Child Relations / ethnology*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Object Attachment
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires