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Wisconsin History textbooks will tell us that Jean Nicolet was the first white person to reach our state, but there's evidence that he was the second.

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)

Historical Essay

Frontier Clay Pipe Fragment

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Clay pipe bowl found at Sheard Road site, Racine County, Wisconsin. (Museum object #1998.236.249)

Learn about the tragic story of what happened when Ho-Chunk warrior Red Bird and three companions surrender themselves after killing settlers.

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)

Historical Essay

First Peoples

Learn about the Paleo-Indians who first inhabited the Wisconsin territory and the archaeological excavations that have revealed their culture.

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)

Historical Essay

Cadotte, Michael, 1764-1837

Pioneer Fur Trader

Brief biography of pioneer fur trader Michael Cadotte.

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

Historical Essay

Menominee Fancy Dance Bustle

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Fancy dance back bustle made of dyed turkey feathers, Neopit, Wisconsin on the Menominee Reservation, c. 1982. (Museum object # 1982.48.8)

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

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)

Historical Essay

Effigy Mounds Culture

Learn about the Effigy Mound communities which transformed Native American life in Wisconsin between 600 and 1000 AD.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Eagle feather dance staff used at 1933 World's Fair by Ho-Chunk dancers from the Wisconsin Dells. (Museum object #2001.49.1)

Historical Essay

Ho-Chunk Hide Scraper

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Wooden handled hide scraper with steel blade made and used by Ho-Chunk Indians in Wisconsin in the early 20th century. (Museum object #1951.949)

Historical Essay

Ojibwe Presentation Pipe

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ojibwe pipe presented to Wisconsin territorial governor James Duane Doty, 1844. (Museum object #1955.399,A)

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

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)

Read how German Americans opposed Americanization and Native Americans opposed assimilation through English instruction in their schools.
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