Who We Are
The Menominee Tribe's history is unique because our origin or creation begins at the mouth of the Menominee River, a mere 60 miles east of our present Menominee Indian Reservation. This is where our five clans: ancestral Bear, Eagle, Wolf, Moose, and Crane were created. Not many tribes in this region can attest to a fact their origin place exists close or near to their present reservation. This is where our history begins.
The Menominee occupied a vast territory, over 10 million acres of land, of what is now Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Menominee Dreamers foresaw the coming of a light skinned people in large boats that would come into the bay of Green Bay and change our lives forever. This prophesy came true in 1634 when the French explorer Jean Nicolet arrived at Green Bay (La Baye). Nicolet was looking for a route to the East. Soon after Nicolet's arrival, the Menominee would become involved in a fur trade and a once independent people would now become dependent upon trade goods and a new way of life. The Menominee have survived for over 10,000 years of existence in this area, and are indigenous to the State of Wisconsin. We have managed to keep a fraction of our ancestral territory for a home which is now our reservation. We continue to have strong leadership and it was this type of leadership that has taken us through much adversity. We continue to speak our language and practice our traditions and our traditional religion. Spiritually, we continue to speak with our creator through tobacco, prayers, and other offerings. We will continue to survive because we are a sovereign nation, a nation that refused to be pushed from our territory, a nation that will remain strong and independent.
The Menominee People were intregal in Wisconsin becoming a state. We have had hundreds of Sesquicentennials. We gave up lands through agreements called Treaties and in the 1848 treaty, we refused to leave what would become Wisconsin our ancestral home. This is our story. We will remain Menominee until our language is no longer spoken. We are "Kiash Matchitiwuk" the Ancient Ones.