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    Departments
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Contact

Physical Address:
W3426 County VV West
Keshena, WI 54135

Mailing Address:
PO Box 910
Keshena, WI 54135

Title: Director

Name: David Grignon

Tel: (715) 799-5258

Fax: (715) 799-5295

Email: dgrignon@mitw.org
Historic Preservation

The main objective of the Historic Preservation Department is to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the Menominee people including the Menominee language, culture and traditions.The department will protect and preserve the valuable cultural resources left by Menominee Ancestors and provide opportunities to experience them through the Menominee Indian Tribe Cultural Museum and the Logging Museum.





The Menominee Historic Preservation Department was created by the Menominee Tribal Legislature in 1991. The main objective of the department is to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the Menominee people. The department is devoted in its efforts to preserve the Menominee language which is sacred to the Menominee people. Many other efforts to preserve the Menominee culture, language and traditions have been successful in the years following the creation of the department. In 1999, the Historic Preservation Department received the unique status as an official designation as Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) from the National Park Service under Section 101 (d) (2) of the National Historic Preservation Act. This distinction, as an official Tribal Historic Preservation Office, enabled the Menominee Tribe to take over the responsibilities the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office had on the Menominee Reservation in regard to the protection of cultural resources. The preservation of the Menominee language is a main objective of the THPO.

With a three year Administration for Native Americans (ANA) grant, we were able to train tribal members and prepare them to take the Menominee Language and Culture Teacher Certification test that is given by native Menominee speakers of the Menominee Language and Culture Commission. Four Menominee Tribal members have received their Menominee Language and Culture Teacher certifications as a result of the grant. In a previous one year grant from ANA two Menominee tribal members were certified as Menominee Language and Culture Teachers and are now employed as Menominee language teachers at the Menominee Tribal School.

In August 2005, we had the first Menominee language immersion camp at the Menominee Logging Museum. The four day camp immersed 15 tribal youth in the Menominee language and camp participants participated in other cultural activities that included; black-ash basket making, traditional pottery, berry picking, nature walks, and the moccasin game. The Menominee language was used in all activities of the language immersion camp.

There are many areas of cultural preservation the department is responsible for and one of them is Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act compliance issues with Federal, State and Tribal entities on the Menominee Reservation and in ceded Menominee Territory. A construction project or any other “ground disturbing activity” that is funded with federal money or is in need of a federal permit must comply with Section 106 of the NHPA. Usually an archaeological survey is requested to see if there are any historic properties (archaeological sites, mounds, burial grounds, historic homesteads, etc.) that will be affected by the proposed project.

The THPO has ongoing Section 106 compliance issues with the Federal Highway Administration/Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Federal Communications Commission, Army Corp of Engineers, Federal Energy Resource Commission, Indian Health Service, and Bureau of Indian Affairs. The THPO is the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) designate for the Menominee Tribe. NAGPRA has mandated that all museums that operate with federal funds must comply with the act and provide tribes with summaries of artifacts and other material objects and inventories of human remains and associated funerary objects. Federally recognized tribes are able to repatriate these items in accordance with the act. To date the Menominee Tribe has repatriated 69 of our ancestors remains and associated funerary objects from five museums that included the Neville Public Museum (Green Bay, Wisconsin), Milwaukee Public Museum, Oshkosh Public Museum, Smithsonian Institution and National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.). The reburial of our ancestors remains were conducted with traditional Menominee ceremonies with the help from respected elders of the reservation community. Future repatriation requests are pending with museums in different areas of the country.

The THPO continues to preserve the traditional life ways of the Menominee Tribe by coordinating the annual traditional wild rice and maple sugar harvest with the students of the reservation schools. We also coordinate the annual Sturgeon Feast and Celebration Pow-wow, the Menominee Youth Culture Camp, annual Traditional Lacrosse game, and the Menominee Language Immersion Camp. The THPO also assists the Menominee community with cultural and spiritual matters, and we also host the annual community Ghost Feast in November that is well attended by the reservation community.

The THPO also manages the Menominee Logging Museum which is located on the banks of the beautiful and historic Wolf River. The museum is a replica of an 1800’s logging camp and consists of eleven log buildings that contain historic logging artifacts. The museum is open for tours May through October and is visited by tourists from all over the country and the world. The THPO is also planning the cultural museum which will be an environmentally controlled facility to house interpretative Menominee exhibits, contain an area for Menominee language preservation, and a place where traditional Menominee crafts will be made. The cultural museum will be the showcase for the rich cultural heritage of the Menominee people.