The Council of Three Fires (in Anishinaabe: Niswi-mishkodewin) are also known as the People of the Three Fires; the Three Fires Confederacy; or the United Nations of Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi Indians. The council is a long-standing Anishinaabe alliance of the Ojibwe (or Chippewa), Ottawa (or Odawa), and PotawatomiNorth American Native tribes.
Originally one people, or a collection of closely related bands, the ethnic identities of Ojibwa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi developed after the Anishinaabe reached Michilimackinac on their journey westward from the Atlantic coast. Using the Midewiwinscrolls, Potawatomi elder Shup-Shewana dated the formation of the Council of Three Fires to 796 AD at Michilimackinac.
In this Council, the Ojibwe were addressed as the "Older Brother," the Odawa as the "Middle Brother," and the Potawatomi as the "Younger Brother." Consequently, whenever the three Anishinaabe nations are mentioned in this specific and consecutive order of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi, it is an indicator implying Council of Three Fires as well. In addition, the Ojibwa are the "keepers of the faith," the Odawa are the "keepers of trade," and the Potawatomi are the designated "keepers/maintainers of/for the fire" (boodawaadam), which became the basis for their name Boodewaadamii (Ojibwe spelling) or Bodéwadmi (Potawatomi spelling).