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

Historical Essay

Hopewellian Human Figurine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Human figurine fragment made of non-tempered, smoothed clay, c. 100 - 200 A.D., found at Pine River site, Richland County, WI (Museum object #2004.5.1)

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

Cadotte, Michael, 1764-1837

Pioneer Fur Trader

Brief biography of pioneer fur trader Michael Cadotte.

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

Historical Essay

The Trial of Chief Oshkosh

The Clash of U.S Law and Indian Legal Tradition

Learn how the trial of Menominee Chief Oshkosh, one of the most famous in Wisconsin history, pitted Indian traditional justice against white man's law.

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)

From Sacred Calumets to Ashtrays

Discover the important role that tobacco and the Peace Pipe have played throughout Wisconsin's history.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Pouch obtained from an Oneida Indian at the 1997 Milwaukee River Front Pow-Wow. (Museum object #1999.40.1)

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

Historical Essay

Petersylvania, Wisconsin

A Bizarre Story of Land Prospecting Gone Awry

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

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

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)

A Brief Introduction

Read about the Stockbridge-Munsee community in Wisconsin and learn more through links to the band's website and to visual materials in our collections.

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)

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

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)

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)

Historical Essay

Early U.S. Settlement

Read how the end of the War of 1812 led to the establishment of American forts and increased exploration and settlement in the Wisconsin territory.

Historical Essay

Effigy Mounds Culture

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