Menominee Nation

State: Minnesota, Wisconsin

The Menominee Nation is a Algonquian-language speaking group of Native Americans who were among the great tribes to originally occupy the Great Lakes Region. Also spelled Menomini, the name Menominee comes from the Ojibwe word for "wild rice people," as the Menominee based their economy on gathering wild rice and other wild plants, supplemented by cultivating corn, beans, squash, and other crops, and by hunting and fishing. Menominee lands were along the Menominee River on the border between Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Menominee first encountered Europeans in the 1630s, when French missionaries/explorers arrived in their territory. The Menominee lived in peace with France, Great Britain and the United States until the nineteenth century, when American settlers began encroaching on their lands. From 1817 to 1848, the Menominee signed a series of treaties with the United States government ceding their lands in Wisconsin and Michigan for land west of the Mississippi River. The Menominee rejected the land west of Mississippi as unsuitable for habitation, and in 1852, established its reservation on the Wolf River.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, s.v. "Menominee," accessed November 12, 2020,; Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1911), 1:842-43; Charles J. Kappler, comp. and ed., Indian Affairs. Laws and Treaties. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1903), 2:423-25; Donald L. Fixico, Treaties with American Indians: An Encyclopedia of Rights, Conflicts, and Sovereignty (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2010), 1:333-34; David R. M. Beck, Siege and Survival: History of the Menominee Indians, 1634-1856 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002), 175.