ICWA Resources Manual & Directory


Adams, Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Juneau, Iron, La Crosse, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor, Trempealeau, Washburn and Wood counties comprise the Western Region, and include the Bad River, Lac Courte Oreilles, Lac du Flambeau, Red Cliff, and St. Croix Tribes.

4A.  Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

4B.  Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

4C.  Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

4D.  Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

4E.  St. Croix Chippewa Indians




Tribe: The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe
Region: Western
WI County(ies): Ashland, Iron, and Bayfield
Location(s): P.O. Box 39, Odanah, WI  54861
Website: http://www.badriver-nsn.gov/
Main Contact: Telephone:      (715) 682-7111
Facsimile:      (715) 682-7118
Brief History:  

The Bad River Reservation in northwestern Wisconsin is the largest Chippewa reservation in the state.  The reservation boundaries include lands in Ashland and Iron counties, 17 miles of Lake Superior shoreline and over 100 miles of rivers and streams.  The Bad River Reservation is 124,655 acres of primarily undeveloped and wilderness land, of which 57,884 acres are in trust.  Odanah, the Ojibwe word for town, is the main village and the seat of government for the tribe.  Odanah is located ten miles east of Ashland on U.S. Highway 2.  The band enjoys both on and off-reservation (ceded territory) hunting, fishing, and gathering rights as recognized in the Treaty of 1854 and LCO et al v. Voight, 700 F2.342 (7th Cir. 1983). 

The Chippewa (also known as the Ojibwe or Anishinabe) Indians of present-day Wisconsin are the descendants of a northern Algonquian people who originally lived in an extensive area mainly north of lakes Superior and Huron.  They began migrating across the Great Lakes region long before Europeans arrived.  As the European fur trade penetrated into the Great Lakes region, the Chippewa moved from the backwoods and upriver areas and established villages at points of trade. 

Soon after the organization of the new territory, a land cession treaty was signed that secured approximately half of the present state of Wisconsin from the Chippewa, Sioux, and Winnebago Indians.  Officials sought the land cession to enable lumbering on a large scale along eastern tributaries of the Mississippi River.  The land cession treaty of 1837 provided legal access to these lands. 

After lumbering began, reports of copper deposits along the shores of Lake Superior led federal officials to push for new land cessions from the Chippewa Indians.  Following the treaty of 1842, copper mining boomed and the region led the world in copper production by 1890. 

The Treaty of 1854 finalized the ceding of the land south of Lake Superior.  The treaty also established reservations for various bands, including Bad River, located on the south shore of Lake Superior and Madeline Island.  The influx of white settlers progressively displaced the Chippewa from their traditional use of the ceded lands.

Click here for Bad River Band Directory.

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Tribe: Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Region: Western
WI County(ies): Sawyer, Burnett, and Washburn
Location(s): 13394 West Trepania Road, Hayward, WI  54843
Website: http://www.lco-nsn.gov/
Main Contact: Telephone:      (715) 634-8934
Facsimile:      (715) 634-4797
Brief History:  

The Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin historically occupied a vast territory within a 100 mile radius of the present location of the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation located near Hayward, WI.  The Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) people are one band of the large Ojibwe Nation that originally occupied the upper eastern woodlands area of the North American continent.  The Treaty of 1854 established the LCO reservation. 

In the years of 1825, 1837, and 1842, many bands of the Ojibwe Nation entered into sovereign treaties with the United States.  In the treaties, the Ojibwe Nation ceded territories of land, which became a part of the United States and reserved unto themselves rights to use the land and its resources.  In 1854, the Treaty of LaPointe established specific territorial rights of the LCO people including the right to hunt, fish, and gather in the northern third of Wisconsin.  The off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights of the Ojibwe people were recognized in 1983 after years of litigation in Lac Courte Oreilles v. Voigt, 700 F.2d 341 (7th Cir. 1983).  In addition to Wisconsin, off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights were subsequently established in the State of Minnesota in a similar treaty rights case involving a Minnesota tribe. 

At the time the LCO reservation was established, the tribal elders wanted to protect certain resources that included wild rice beds and fishing areas on the Grindstone, Chief, and Lac Courte Oreilles Lakes.  The land was also rich in timber stands of oak, conifer, maple, hickory, cedar, and birch.  There were bountiful fishing sites on the Chippewa, Chief, and Couderay rivers as well as hunting and trapping areas for waterfowl, deer, bear, beaver, mink, muskrat, and other game.  The Tribe also used historical water transportation routes via the Chippewa, Flambeau, and Namekagon rivers.  Although the tribe already had a traditional government that provided safety and welfare to its people, after years of resistance, the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe adopted an Indian Reorganization Act Constitution in 1966.  The constitution establishes a seven member Tribal Governing Board to make decisions on behalf of the LCO people on the areas of land, establishment of a tribal court, ordinances, contracts, agreements, governmental negotiations, tribal businesses, housing, etc.  The constitution recognizes the sovereign immunity of the tribe along with jurisdiction within its territory on and off the reservation.  The LCO Tribe is a federally recognized tribal government that exercises its rights of sovereignty and governance established by the treaties of 1825, 1837, 1842, and 1854 along with its constitution, initially adopted in 1966.

Click here for Lac Courte Oreilles Band Directory.

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Tribe: Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Region:  Northeastern & Western
WI County(ies):  Iron, Vilas, and Oneida
Location(s):  P.O. Box 67, Lac du Flambeau, WI  54538
Website:  http://ldftribe.com/
Main Contact:  Telephone:  (715) 588-3303
Brief History:  

The band has inhabited the Lac du Flambeau area since 1745 when Chief Keeshkemun led the band to the area.  The band acquired the name Lac du Flambeau from its gathering practice of harvesting fish at night by torchlight.  The name Lac du Flambeau or Lake of the Torches refers to this practice and was given to the band by the French traders and trappers who visited the area. 

The Lac du Flambeau Reservation was officially established by treaties in 1837 and 1842.  The area was continually logged in the following years and became a tourist destination for families from southern Wisconsin and Illinois around the turn of the century.  To increase economic activity and foster self-reliance among the various Native American communities, the tribe began bingo and casino operations.  Revenues generated by the casino operations would go to the tribe and directly benefit the economic and social development of the community.  The casino has enhanced both the economy of the Lakeland area and to provide public services to residents in Lac du Flambeau.

Click here for Lac du Flambeau Band Directory.

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Tribe:  Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Region:  Western
WI County(ies):  Bayfield
Location(s):  88385 Pike Road, Highway 13, Red Cliff, WI  54814
Website:  http://www.redcliff-nsn.gov/
Main Contact: Telephone:  (715) 779-3700
Facsimile:  (715) 779-3704
Brief History:  

The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians retains rights under various treaties it signed with the United States in 1836, 1837, 1842, and 1854.  This series of treaties ceded large tracts of land in northern Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota to the federal government.  In exchange for these vast land cessions, the tribes were given promises of small amounts of money, schooling, equipment, and the like.  In addition, the 1854 treaty included the reservation of land as a permanent home for many of the Chippewa bands, including Red Cliff.  It is under this treaty that the current reservation was established at Red Cliff.  In addition, under the various treaties the tribes, including Red Cliff, reserved certain "usufructuaryā€¯ rights, namely, the right to hunt, fish, and gather on the lands ceded to the federal government.  These treaty rights to hunt, fish, and gather within the ceded territory have been upheld in a series of federal and state court decisions over the past three decades.  The tribe's sovereign immunity from suit is akin to the immunity of the United States and is jurisdictional in nature.  Sovereign immunity is an absolute bar to a lawsuit against the tribe.  The doctrine of sovereign immunity from suit as it applies to Indian tribes has received continued and unqualified adherence by the U.S. Supreme Court for well over the last half-century.

Click here for Red Cliff Band Directory.

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Tribe: St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
Region: Western
WI County(ies):  
Location(s): 24663 Angeline Avenue, Webster, WI  54893
Website: http://www.stcciw.com/index.php
Main Contact: Telephone:  (715) 349-8554
Toll-Free:  (800) 236-2195
Facsimile:  (715) 349-2559
Brief History:  

The St. Croix people were known as "The Lost Tribe" after the Treaty of LaPointe in 1854.  St. Croix was not a federally recognized Tribe until the passing of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, when federal lands were finally established for St. Croix.  The St. Croix people had endured over 200 years of struggle to reclaim their original homelands.

Today, St. Croix is a strong sovereign nation and flourishing economic center.  The Tribe is one of the largest employers in Northwest Wisconsin with over 2,000 employees in its Government center, casinos, and enterprises.  St. Croix is also a major contributor to the area's economy.

There are 1,054 enrolled members in the St. Croix Chippewa Tribe.  Several Tribal Members reside in one of the Tribe's communities:  Big Sand Lake, Danbury, Round Lake, Maple Plain, Gaslyn, Bashaw, Clam Lake, Balsam Lake.

However, just as many Tribal Members live in surrounding towns and villages.  Other Members choose to reside in nearby major metropolitan areas.  Still others live as far away as the Pacific Coast.

Click here for St. Croix Chippewa Directory. 

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