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Menominee Indians

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In Wisconsin history, no single group has been on the land longer than the Menominee Indians. While other tribes were pushed west by the Europeans and Americans, the Menominee stayed firm and held on to their ancestral homeland. Though their territory has been greatly diminished, there is something to be said about raising a family in the same place as your parents and their parents, going back thousands of years. Their interaction with the white man dates back to the days of explorer Jean Nicolet in 1634. Since then, they have been both allies and foes of the Europeans. Tribal leaders distinguished themselves in trade and war, with cities named in their honor: Oshkosh, Keshena, and Tomah. Many other Wisconsin cities have names derived from the Menominee language. The 20th century brought new challenges, but after some setbacks, the tribe forged ahead. Today, it is one of the most prominent tribes in the state, if not the nation, thanks to leaders like Ada Deer and Sylvia Wilber.