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Learn how white contact disrupted and transformed Indian life in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Historical Essay

Oneota Ceramic Vessel

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Decorated shell-tempered pot from the OT site (47-LC-0262), 1500-1625. (Museum object #1995.218.39)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Native American courting flute carved by Louis Webster, of Menominee, Stockbridge, Potawatomi and Oneida descent, 1994. (Museum object #1996.118.93)

Learn how contact with Europeans, the fur trade, and warfare among the tribes drove many Indans to the Wisconsin territory in the 17th century.

Read about Wisconsin's Indian tribes and their changing legal status throughout the 20th century.

Historical Essay

Petersylvania, Wisconsin

Read the amazing story of a man who watched his potential 10,000-square-mile northern Wisconsin empire disappear into thin air.

Historical Essay

Cast Iron Effigy Mound Model

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Cast iron Wisconsin effigy mound model in the shape of a "trunk and arms of a man", designed by Increase A. Lapham, c. 1875. (Museum object #1975.8.12)

Read about the fur trade conducted with the Wisconsin Indians over two centuries by first the French, then the British, and finally the Americans.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Hammered copper pike from Interstate Park Bison site, Polk County, Wisconsin, c. 1000-4000 B.C. (Museum object #1956.3099)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Maple sugar container made by missionary Rosalie Dousman, mid-1800s. (Museum object #1969.419)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Army jacket decorated with Native American beadwork worn by Chief Simon Onanguisse Kahquados of the Forest County Potawatomi. (Museum object #1943.330)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Reebok baby shoes beaded by Ho-Chunk artist Linda Lucero, c. 1990. (Museum object #1993.102A-B)

Historical Essay

Wild Rice Threshing Machine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Improvised wild rice threshing machine used on the Lac du Flambeau Reservation, Wisconsin, c. 1990. (Museum object #1999.61.5)

Learn how epidemics erupted in Wisconsin and the ways communities responded

Wisconsin Historical Museum Field Trip

Take a field trip to the Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison! Students will learn about Wisconsin archaeology, the fur trade, and native people.

Lesson Plan

Little Elk, 1829

Use the 1829 speech by Little Elk, Ho-Chunk orator, to learn more about Ho-Chunk views on Euro-American cultures

Use the 1673 journal of Father Jacques Marquette to introduce students to the early exploration of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Early Paleo-Indian fluted spear point found in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, and made between 12,000 B.C. and 8,000 B.C. (Museum object #1985.2)

Explore Wisconsin folk objects and learn the stories behind them.

Read about the development of social and cultural institutions such as public schools, churches, colleges and universities and Indian mission schools.
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