ICWA Family Resources Manual & Directory


SECTION 2.  NORTHEASTERN REGION

The Northeastern Region is comprised of the counties of Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Fond du Lac, Forest, Green Lake, Kewaunee, Langlade, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marinette, Marquette, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Portage, Sheboygan, Shawano, Vilas Waupaca, Waushara, and Winnebago, and includes the Forest County Potawatomi, Menominee Indian, Ho-Chunk Nation, Oneida Nation, Sokaogon Chippewa Community, and Stockbridge-Munsee Community Tribes.  Below is an alphabetical listing of Tribes and tribal resources in the Northeastern Region:

2A.      Forest County Potawatomi

2B.      Menominee Indians of Wisconsin

2C.      Ho-Chunk Nation

2D.      Oneida Nation

2E.      Sokaogon Chippewa Community Mole Lake Band of Chippewa Indians

2F.      Stockbridge-Munsee Community 

 

2A.  FOREST COUNTY POTAWATOMI COMMUNITY TRIBAL RESOURCES

Tribe: Forest County Potawatomi (FCP) Community
Region: Northeastern & Southern
WI County(ies): Forest and Oconto
Location(s): 5416 Everybody's Road, Crandon, WI  54520
Website: http://www.fcpotawatomi.com/
Main Contact: Telephone:  715-478-7200 or Toll Free:  800-960-5479
Brief History:  

The Potawatomi are Algonquin, a European term based upon linguistics, and Neshnabek, a Potawatomi word that means "original people." The Potawatomi were part of a confederacy with the Ojibwa (Chippewa) and Odawa (Ottawa) Indian tribes. This group was known as the Council of the Three Fires.  At the time of first contact by the Europeans, the Potawatomi people were living in what is today lower Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. To the west of Lake Michigan, the Potawatomi land base extended from Illinois to Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The Potawatomi signed 42 treaties with the United States government which is more than any other tribe. Below is a summary of the most notable treaties as well as other historical events: 

In 1795, the first of many treaties which took Potawatomi lands was signed in Ohio.

In 1830, the Indian Removal Act passed under President Jackson. This act forced all Indians living east of the Mississippi River to move to Indian Territory in the west.

In 1833, the Potawatomi lost all of their land east of the Mississippi River in the Treaty of Chicago. This treaty took 5,000,000 acres of Potawatomi land.  During this period, the U.S. military rounded up many of the Potawatomi and forcibly removed them from traditional lands. These Potawatomi people eventually settled in Kansas and Oklahoma. Groups of Potawatomi refused removal and fled into Wisconsin, Michigan, and Canada.

Around 1880, a group of Potawatomi settled in an area near Blackwell and Wabeno in Forest County. This group was the origin of the Forest County Potawatomi Community.

In 1913, the Forest County Potawatomi Community was officially recognized and made its initial land purchases to establish a reservation.

In 1937, the Forest County Potawatomi Community formally adopted a new form of government. A constitution and bylaws were adopted that provided for a tribal chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, treasurer, and two councilmen.

In 1982, a second Forest County Potawatomi constitution and bylaws were signed, which superseded the original 1937 constitution.

In 1988, the National Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was approved. This act allowed for the operation of gaming by Indian tribes on Indian lands.

In 1991, the Forest County Potawatomi Community opened Potawatomi Bingo in Milwaukee.

Click here for Forest County Potawatomi Directory.

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2B.  MENOMINEE INDIAN TRIBES’ TRIBAL RESOURCES

Tribe: Menominee Indian Tribe
Region: Northeastern
WI County(ies): Menominee - http://www.co.menominee.wi.us/
Location(s): W2908 Tribal Office Loop Road, P.O. Box 910, Keshena, WI  54135
Website: http://www.menominee-nsn.gov/
Main Contact: Telephone:  (715) 799-5100 or Toll Free (855) 463-6664
Brief History:  

The Menominee Indian Tribe’s current reservation was created in 1854 through treaty with the United States of America.  On June 17, 1954, Congress implemented Public Law 108.  This is known as the “Termination Bill” which was signed into law by President Eisenhower.  This provided for termination of federal control of the Menominee Indian Reservation.  On July 3, 1959, Governor Gaylord Nelson signed a law making Menominee County the state’s 72nd County.  This was an experiment to force tribes to join the mainstream of American society as an assimilation attempt. 

During the period from 1961 to 1973, federal supervision over the Tribe was terminated.  On April 30, 1961, the Menominee Termination Plan was submitted to the Secretary of Interior.  In 1962, the Menominee Council of Chiefs was organized as a non-profit organization ideally for the purpose of preserving the name “Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin” which was technically abolished during termination.  A petition was signed by 780 Menominee’s requesting the repeal of the Menominee Termination in 1964. 

In May 1968, the Tribe had filed suit regarding the hunting and fishing rights of tribal members.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Tribe’s favor establishing that when termination was effective it did not relinquish their right to hunt and fish, Menominee Tribe vs. United States, 391 U.S. 404 (1968).  When the Termination Plan was implemented, the enrolled members became shareholders in Menominee Enterprises, Inc., which became known as M.E.I.  The M.E.I. Board of Trustees consisted of seven (7) members; three (3) of whom were non-members.  In 1968, the M.E.I. entered into the “Lakes of Menominee,” project referred to now as Legend Lake. 

In spite of many barriers, the Menominee persisted with their goal in restoring the land to trust status.  On April 20, 1972, Wisconsin Senators Proxmire and Nelson introduced Senate Bill No. 3514 in response to the Menominee’s ambition to seek reversal of termination.  With the dedication and persistence of Tribal members and a coalition of supporters, the Menominee Restoration Act was signed into law on December 22, 1973, by President Nixon.  After two and one-half years of congressional testimony, the Restoration Act was passed.  It provided for the federal recognition of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin thereby returning the nation to trust status and sovereign immunity through the development of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Constitution and Bylaws. 

The sovereign immunity of the Tribe is retained through Article XVIII of the Constitution and Bylaws, which allows suit to be brought against the Tribe in Menominee Tribal Court by those subject to the Tribe’s jurisdiction.  Suit may be brought against the Tribe to enforce an ordinance of the Tribe, a provision of the Menominee Constitution, or a provision of the Indian Civil Rights Act.

Click here for Menominee Indian Tribal Directory.

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2C.  HO-CHUNK NATION TRIBAL RESOURCES

Tribe: Ho-Chunk Nation
Region: Northeastern, Southern, & Western
WI County(ies): Shawano, Portage, Wood, Clark, Eau Claire, Jackson, Trempealeau, La Cross, Monroe, Juneau, Adams, Sauk, and Dane
Location(s): Central Office:  Tribal Office Building, W9814 Airport Road, P.O. Box 667, Black River Falls, WI  54615
Website: http://ho-chunknation.com/
Main Contact: Telephone:  (715) 284-9343 or Toll Free:  (800) 294-9343
Facsimile:  (715) 284-2632
Brief History:  

In 1634, when the French explorer Jean Nicolet waded ashore at Red Banks, people of the Ho-Chunk Nation welcomed him.  For some 360 years, this nation was labeled as the Winnebago Tribe by the French.  In November 1994, the official results of the Ho-Chunk Nation secretarial election were published, approving the revised constitution and the proper name of the nation reverting to the Ho-Chunk (People of the Big Voice) which they have always called themselves, thus establishing the Ho-Chunk Nation.  The exact size of the Ho-Chunk Nation was not historically documented at the time.  However, their territory extended from Green Bay, beyond Lake Winnebago to the Wisconsin River and to the Rock River in Illinois; tribal territory was by the Treaty of 1825, 8.5 million acres. 

While most people think of Native Americans as hunters or gatherers, the Ho-Chunk were also farmers.  For example, their history tells of corn fields south of Wisconsin Dells, “that were as large as the distance covered when you shoot an arrow three times."  They appreciated the bounty of the land we now call Wisconsin. 

Their story is the story of a people who loved the land of Wisconsin.  In the last 170 years they faced tremendous hardship and overcame long odds to live here.  Their troubles began in the late 1820s when lead miners began to come into southwestern Wisconsin.  At that time, the U.S. Government recognized the Ho-Chunk as a sovereign nation and the fact that they held title to more than eight million acres of some of the finest land in America.  Treaty commissioners, speaking for the United States, promised they would punish any whites going on recognized Ho-Chunk lands.  However, the lure of lead and good farmland proved too great.  Within ten years, the U.S. government reversed its position.  The Ho-Chunk were forced to sell their remaining lands at a fraction of its worth and were removed from Wisconsin. 

First, the Ho-Chunk people were moved to northeastern Iowa.  Within ten years (1846), they were moved to a wooded region of northern Minnesota.  They were placed there as a barrier between warring Lakota and Ojibwe.  As a result, the Ho-Chunk were victims of raids by both.  At their request, they were to be moved to better land near the Mississippi River.  European immigrants objected and before they could move, the U.S. Senate moved them further west.  Within four years of their arrival (1859), the U.S. reduced their reservation from 18 square miles to nine square miles. 

Four years later (1863), they were moved to a desolate reservation in South Dakota surrounded by Lakotas.  The U.S. allowed the Ho-Chunk to exchange their South Dakota reservation for lands near the more friendly Omahas of Nebraska in 1865. 

Throughout this time, many Ho-Chunk refused to live on the increasingly poor areas away from their abundant homelands in Wisconsin.  Many returned to Wisconsin.  The memories of living Ho-Chunk contain stories of their elders being rounded up at gunpoint, loaded into boxcars and shipped to "their reservation" in Nebraska.  The Wisconsin Ho-Chunk does not have a reservation in Wisconsin, but portions of land that hold “reservation” status.  Today, all Wisconsin Ho-Chunk tribal lands are lands they once owned, but have had to repurchase.

Click here for Ho-Chunk Tribal Directory.

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2D.  ONEIDA TRIBE OF INDIANS TRIBAL RESOURCES

Tribe: Oneida Tribe of Indians
Region: Northeastern
WI County(ies): Brown and Outagamie
Location(s): P.O. Box 365, Oneida, WI  54155
Website: https://oneida-nsn.gov/
Main Contact: Telephone:  (920) 869-4509
Facsimile:  (920) 869-4040
Brief History:  

The Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin is sovereign government with a long and proud history of self-government.  We are a federally-recognized treaty tribe of the United States.  We have faced threats and continue to face threats to our homelands.  The Oneida have persevered in the face of adversity for centuries, and we proudly and passionately continue to protect and preserve our homelands. 

The Oneidas, along with the Mohawk, Seneca, Cayuga, and Onondaga, comprised the original Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy that dates back to the 1500s, which later became the Six Nations when the Tuscarora joined in the 1700s.  The Iroquois held millions of acres of land in what is now the State of New York, which entered statehood in 1776.  During the Revolutionary War, the Oneida and the Tuscarora supported the colonies and served in General George Washington’s army.  For this service, our lands were to be protected forever, a promise reflected in the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua between the Oneida and United States. 

The 1784 Treaty of Fort Stanwix was the first treaty between the Oneida and United States that established peace between the Iroquois Confederacy and the colonial states, which operated under the Articles of Confederation at the time.  This treaty of peace established the government-to-government relationship between the Oneida Tribe and the United States that continues to exist today. 

Through the 1785 Treaty of Fort Herkimer and the 1788 Treaty of Fort Schuyler with the State of New York, the Oneida lost more than 5 million acres of their ancestral homelands to the State of New York

In 1789, the states ratified the United States Constitution, which declared treaties of the United States to be the law of the land.  The United States adopted the Non-Intercourse Act of 1793, which prohibited the purchase of any Indian land by any person or entity without the Federal Governments approval. 

In spite of the Non-Intercourse Act, the State of New York continued to enter into a series of land transactions between 1795 and 1846 with the Oneida in direct violation of federal law.  These land transactions continued to deplete the Oneida land holdings in New York until only 32 acres remained in Oneida possession by the 1820s. 

During the 1820s, Oneidas relocated to what would become the State of Wisconsin to establish new homelands.  The Oneidas purchased 5 million acres of land from the Winnebago and Menominee Tribes for the purpose of preserving sovereignty as a self-governing sovereign nation.  This band of Oneidas became recognized as the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, who entered their final treaty with the United States in 1838, ten years before Wisconsin entered statehood. 

The Treaty of 1838 between the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin and the United States established the present day Oneida Reservation boundaries located in northeast Wisconsin and comprised of 65,430 acres.  To the present day, the Oneida Reservation has not been diminished or disestablished by an Act of Congress and our reservation boundaries as established by treaty continue to exist under the full force and effect of federal law and the United States Constitution. 

The Dawes Allotment Act of 1887 enacted by Congress was the next challenge of maintaining our homelands.  Our lands were divided into individual parcels that resulted in a significant loss of tribal land ownership because our members did not understand the English language and did not understand land taxation.  Consequently, tribal land ownership was reduced to a few thousand acres within the Oneida Reservation boundaries. 

The Dawes Allotment Act and the loss of tribal land ownership were ended when Congress passed the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (IRA).  The federal policy of the IRA was to recognize and strengthen the authority and autonomy of tribal governments, and implicit in the recognition of tribal authority is a tribes right of self-government.  The IRA provided the foundation for adopting a tribal constitution that would govern tribal members. 

In 1936, the Oneida membership adopted the Oneida Constitution that established an elected governing body for the Oneida membership.  Upon adoption of the Oneida Constitution, the United States federal government purchased 1,270 acres of land within the Oneida Reservation and placed that land into trust for the benefit of the Oneida Tribe.

Click here for Oneida Tribe Directory.

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2E.  Sokaogon Chippewa Community Mole Lake Band of Chippewa Indians Tribal Resources

Tribe: Sokaogon Chippewa Community Mole Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
Region: Northeastern
WI County(ies): Forest
Location(s): 3051 Sand Lake Road, Crandon, WI  54520
Website: http://sokaogonchippewa.com/
Main Contact: Telephone:  (715) 478-7500
Brief History:  

Under the provisions of the 1934 Reorganization Act, 1,745 acres of land were purchased for the Mole Lake Reservation.  This area lies in southwestern Forest County, near Crandon.  In 1930, a roll had been taken in the Mole Lake area and 199 Indians were determined to be in this band.  According to tribal history, these Indians had been promised this land by a treaty signed with Franklin Pierce.  This agent, who was to confirm the treaty and secure the land for them, drowned on his return trip from Washington.  The tribe, to this day, actively pursues any knowledge or document to support their claim to the original treaty lands.  Before the reservation was incorporated, the Mole Lake Chippewa lived in extreme poverty.  These Chippewa welcomed the Reorganization Act and accepted a constitution on October 8, 1938. 

At that time, the principle means of gaining a livelihood for this group were boat building, wild rice, wreath greens, selling souvenir bows and arrows, and other novelties.  The soil, a sandy loam with gravel outcroppings, yields fair crops of potatoes, short season vegetables, oats, clover, and timothy hay.  The game on the reservation included deer, bear, fox, muskrats, and water fowl. 

With the advent of gambling casinos and bingo, the tribe has continued with an age-old Chippewa tradition of playing games of chance.  The introduction of bingo and casinos drastically altered unemployment on the reservation.  Rates fell from 80% to 10% within a couple of years.  The surrounding communities have also benefited financially and reduced their dependency on federal aid. 

Today, the Sokaogon Chippewa Community continues to harvest wild rice and spear fish in traditional ways.  And now, utilizing state of the art technology, they continue to protect the resources of their environment for future generations.  The tribe continues to use its money wisely by investing in cultural preservation and restoration projects, environmental planning of their resources, education of their community members, and social programs that enhance the general health and welfare of the Sokaogon Chippewa Community.

Click here for Sokaogon Chippewa Community Tribal Directory.

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2F.  Stockbridge-Munsee Community Tribal Resources

Tribe: Stockbridge-Munsee Community
Region: Northeastern
WI County(ies): Shawano
Location(s): N8476 Moh-He-Con-Nuck Road, P.O. Box 70, Bowler, WI  54416
Website: http://mohican-nsn.gov/
Main Contact: Telephone:  (715) 793-4111
Facsimile:  (715) 793-1307
Brief History:  

The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians is descended from a group of Mohicans (variously known as Mahikan, Housatonic and River Indians; the ancestral name Muh-he-con-ne-ok means “people of the waters that are never still”) and a band of the Delaware Indians known as the Munsee.  The Mohicans and the Delaware, closely related in customs and traditions, originally inhabited large portions of what is now the northeastern United States.  In 1734, a small group of Mohicans established a village near Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where they began to assimilate but were nonetheless driven out by Euro-Americans.  In 1785, they founded “New Stockbridge” in upper New York State at the invitation of the Oneida Indians.  Their new home, however, was on timber land sought after by non-Indian settlers.  In 1818, the band settled briefly in White River, Indiana, only to be again relocated.  In order to relocate both the Stockbridge-Munsee and Oneida Indians, government officials, along with missionaries, negotiated the acquisition of a large tract in what is now Wisconsin.  In 1834, the Stockbridge Indians settled there; two years later they were joined by some Munsee families who were migrating west from Canada and who decided to remain with the Stockbridge families.  Together, they became known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Band.  The tribe expanded its land base by obtaining 46,000 acres by treaty with their neighbors to the north, the Menominee Tribe.  More pressure from the government resulted in more relocation - first in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, and later to a community on the shores of Lake Winnebago that the tribe named Stockbridge.  By the terms of a new treaty with the federal government in 1856, the band moved to its present site in Shawano County.  The General Allotment Act of 1887 resulted in the loss of a great deal of land by the Stockbridge-Munsee.  In the Great Depression, the tribe lost yet more land.  However, in the early 1930s the Stockbridge-Munsee experienced a reawakening of their identity and began reorganizing.  In 1932 they even took over the town council of Red Springs under the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, created an activist Business Committee and started to regain some of their land.  The Secretary of the Interior affirmed the reservation in 1937.

Click here for Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Directory.

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