Home to 11 federally recognized tribes, the country’s first Tribal National Park and the rich heritage of the Effigy Moundbuilders, Native American culture and history in Wisconsin runs deep. Here’s to discovering the past, present and future of Native American culture.
Learn about the Oneida Nation in De Pere (Brown County)
Visit the Oneida Museum in De Pere to learn about the history, traditions and customs of the Oneida Nation.
The museum has exhibits on tribal history and culture, the Oneida Creation Story, the different clans, an interactive longhouse and more. Consider taking a guided tour of the museum, which lasts about an hour and covers all the exhibits and displays. Before leaving, check out the gift shop for contemporary Oneida and Iroquois arts and crafts, jewelry, music, books and other wonderful finds.
For dinner, discover dishes driven by Indigenous and regional ingredients at the Cedar & Sage Grill House – many of which are harvested from the Oneida Nation Farm and Orchard.
This restaurant is located in the Radisson Hotel that’s connected to the Oneida Casino. In Oneida culture, corns, beans and squash are planted together, representing The Three Sisters legend and growing tradition. Many of Cedar & Sage’s dishes incorporate these vegetables and other Native American ingredients into delicious, creative meals, such as the sage-corn and butter breadbasket and the American bison filet.
See important archeological sites at Wisconsin State Parks
Native peoples have called present-day Wisconsin home for millennia. And evidence of their achievement and innovation can be found throughout.
Aztalan State Park preserves the site of an ancient Native American town. Outside of present-day Lake Mills, the park is Wisconsin’s premier archaeological site and a National Historic Landmark.
The Mississippian people established a fortified town along the Crawfish River about 900 years ago. The town covered 35 acres before its inhabitants mysteriously abandoned it around 1200 AD. At the park, you’ll find two restored earthen platforms the town’s builders created, and a partially re-created wooden palisade provides an idea of what the original wall surrounding the town looked like.
At Roche-A-Cri State Park, a 300-foot-tall sandstone outcropping abruptly rises from its surrounding environment near Adams-Friendship. Around the massive mound, you’ll see rock art made by artists believed to be the ancestors of the Ho-Chunk people. The petroglyphs, which are rock carvings, are thought to have been made before 900 AD, while the pictographs, or paintings, are about 400 to 500 years old.
Absorb Ojibwe heritage in Lac du Flambeau (Vilas County)
In Lac du Flambeau, you’ll experience the long history of the Lake Superior Chippewa in this stunning lake country. The George W. Brown Jr. Ojibwe Museum and Cultural Center preserves and promotes the local history with exhibits, programming and events. The center is named for a tribal elder and life-long proponent of cultural preservation.
Many objects on display at the museum were crafted by the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe and other Ojibwe bands. Appreciate a 24-foot dugout canoe, smaller birch bark canoes, Ojibwe arts and crafts, a French fur trading post and other exhibits.
Make your trip a long weekend by spending the night at the nearby Lake of the Torches Resort Casino. Discover a premier casino with the atmosphere of a Northwoods retreat that also reflects the Ojibwe culture and heritage. Play one of the more than 800 slot machines or double down on the blackjack tables. And then sleep comfortably in the spacious guest rooms, including many with picturesque lake views.
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