November is National Native American Heritage Month, which serves as an opportunity to pay tribute to this rich history and culture. Native heritage is woven into Wisconsin’s identity in so many ways – from beautiful landscapes and natural areas, to vibrant celebrations and art, music, and dancing.
Wisconsin is home to 11 federally recognized tribes, the most of any state east of the Mississippi River. An important part of Wisconsin’s culture, each of these tribes have their own unique histories and traditions. There are incredible Native American businesses, historical sites and more that can be found around the state.
Creative artists and makers across Wisconsin use their gifts and talents to keep the rich heritage of Native Wisconsin alive through their work. Earlier this year two Wisconsin tribal artists were named National Heritage Fellows by the National Endowment for the Arts for their artistic excellence and efforts to sustain cultural traditions for future generations. One recipient of this honor is Karen Ann Hoffman, a well-known Iroquois raised beadwork artist based in Stevens Point. The other is Wayne Valliere, a Birchbark Canoe Builder and educator in Ojibwe language and culture from Lac du Flambeau. This lifetime honor award is the highest recognition our nation bestows on traditional artists and is a great indicator of how native arts are alive in Wisconsin
Support Native artists and makers this year by purchasing artwork, taking a class or visiting an exhibit. Check out Woodland Indian Art, who has transitioned their annual art show and market to an online marketplace due to the pandemic. Their online marketplace features all kinds of incredible pieces like basketry, beadwork, jewelry, and 2-dimensional art pieces.
Explore Native Wisconsin’s tourism offerings and find more resources at TravelWisconsin.com or call 1-800-432-TRIP.