Ozaawindib ("Yellow Head" in English, recorded variously as Oza Windib, O-zaw-wen-dib, O-zaw-wan-dib, Ozawondib, etc.) (Ojibwe) was an early 19th century assigned male at birth ayaakwe / agokwa[1] warrior who had several husbands and was in other ways gender-nonconforming.[2]


Ozaawindib's father, or possibly brother, was Wiishkobak ("Sweet" or "Le Sucre", recorded as "Wesh-ko-bug"), a chief of the Leech Lake Pillagers.[3] As an ayaakwe, John Tanner described Ozaawindib as "This man was one of those who make themselves women, and are called women by the Indians."[2]

When Tanner encamped on Red River of the North, he reports that he was the subject of interest of Ozaawindib, who at that time was about 50 years old and already had several husbands. Tanner reported that after rejecting repeated advances by Ozaawindib, Ozaawindib was still determined to win Tanner's heart. Ozaawindib disappeared for a few days and returned to camp with much needed fresh meat. However, even after bringing much needed fresh meat to the camp, Ozaawindib was still rejected by Tanner. Ozaawindib became the third wife of Chief Wenji-dotaagan[4] as the solution to Ozaawindib's courtship efforts toward Tanner.[5]

Alexander Henry the younger reported from his Pembina Post in 1797 that when Ozaawindib was drunk, "he was not merely a nuisance but a bothersome man."[6] Ozaawindib is remembered in place names such as Lake Plantagenet (Ozaawindibe-zaaga'igan) and Schoolcraft River (Ozaawindibe-ziibi) in the Anishinaabe language,[7] and as Yellow Head Point of Lake Itasca[8] in English.


  1. ^ Pruden, Harlan; Edmo, Se-ah-dom (2016). "Two-Spirit People: Sex, Gender & Sexuality in Historic and Contemporary Native America" (PDF). National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center.
  2. ^ a b Captivity, p. 89
  3. ^ Letters, 2:241
  4. ^ Wenji-dotaagan (recorded as Wa-ge-to-tah-gun or "That Has a Bell") often he went by Wenji-dot (recorded as "Wa-ge-tote")
  5. ^ Captivity, pp. 90-91
  6. ^ New Light, p. 164
  7. ^ "Freelang Ojibwe Dictionary". Freelang.net.
  8. ^ 47°12′53″N 95°12′36″W / 47.21472°N 95.21°W / 47.21472; -95.21


  • Catlin, George. (1841) Letters and notes on the Manners, Customs and Condition of the Indians of North America, 1832-39. London: Tosswill and Myers.
  • Coues, Elliott, ed. (1897) New Light on the Early History of the Greater Northwest: The Manuscript Journals of Alexander Henry and of David Thompson. New York: Francis P. Harper.
  • Gilfillan, J. A. (1893) Manuscripts of Rev. J. A. Gilfillan. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press.
  • James, Edwin, ed. (1830) Captivity of John Tanner. New York.
  • Schooolcraft, Henry Rowe. (1834) Narrative of an Expedition Through the Upper Mississippi to Itasca Lake: The Actual Source of This River. New York: Harper & Brothers.
  • —————, (1851, reprint 1975) Personal Memoirs Of A Residence Of Thirty Years With The Indian Tribes On The American Frontiers. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co., reprint New York: Arno Press
  • Warren, William W. (1885, reprint 1984) History of the Ojibway People. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press.