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Menominee Forest and Alternative Land Use
Transcript of Menominee Forest and Alternative Land Use
Menominee History: The Treaty Era
Federal Government Forestry Practices
Menominee Nation and Partnerships
Wilderness and Sustainability
Prevention of forest fires is a huge part of the government’s forest policy. From 1920 to 1930 William Greeley, Robert Stuart, Ferdinand Silcox served as the forest service chief. Because these three had served in the 1910 fires, also known as the Big Blowup which burned 3 million acres of forest in Washington, Idaho, and Montana in just three days, they were in a position to push for total fire suppression which did not agree with the practice of light burning (controlled fires that improved land conditions). Presently 50 percent of the Forest Service’s budget goes towards fire suppression, which takes away funds that could be used for forest restoration and forest thinning. One example of a major forest fire in Wisconsin is the Peshtigo fire of 1871 which burned through forest in northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. The fire killed between 1,200 and 2,400 people and destroyed millions of dollars’ worth of property and timber lands. The causes of this fire included a combination of dry weather followed by a large storm; However making the fire worse were certain human aspects in the forest such as leaving cut trees and timber scrap lying in the forest created more dry tinder that increased the intensity of the fire. This fire is an example of what the forest service was aiming to prevent through different regulations, so as to protect the natural resources which provided great economic benefit.
(Williams, Gerald W. The USDA Forest Service: The First Century, Last updated: 02-Apr-2008. www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Publications/first_century/index.htm)
(Deana C. Hipke.
The Great Peshtigo Fire of 1871
Image Date: July 1927
Image Title: Fire suppression.
Image Caption: Fire fighters going to the front at the Mineral fire. Lassen National Forest, California.
Photographer: Barrett, L. A., for the U.S. Forest Service
Cultural Practices of the Menominee
Menominee Creation Story as Told Through the Oral Tradition
Stories help to create a Menominee identity based on the language, history, and a common identity. It also helps to develop a sense of place with the land.
As told by Mike Hoffman and James Frechette
The 4 R's
- Taking as little as you need. Make the least amount of impact. Just take what you need to survive but not more. It is showing respect towards our relations. They are living too and have their own purposes and reasons for existence. When we take their life, they are giving it up so that we can live.
-Giving thanks to all parts of creation. In order for humans to live and survive, other parts of creation have to give up theirs. So reciprocity is acknowledging that sacrifice
- All parts of creation are interconnected. All human actions have an impact on the natural environment. Part of reciprocity is acknowledging that sacrifice of our relations. We honor that relationship by showing respect. What can we do to mitigate these impacts?
- Being created last means we have a responsibility to learn from those who came before us. We need to take care of our relations because they have much to teach us. We are dependent on them for our survival. When we exploit them, we are exploiting our our relationships and even family. Since we are relations, we need to treat them like family. Not to abuse, exploit, and mistreat our relations
7 Sacred Laws
The 7 Sacred Laws are teachings on how to honor spiritual law. They are represented by seven animals, each of which offers a unique gift and understanding on how people should live on the Earth.
- Respect all life on Mother Earth, respect Elders and people of all races. The essence of respect is to give.
- Always act in love. Love the Creator. Love the Earth. Love yourself, your family, and your fellow human beings.
- Listen to your heart, it takes courage to do what is right.
- Never lie or gossip, be honest with yourself and others. Speak from your heart. Be true to your word.
- Everyone has a special gift, show wisdom by using your gift to build a peaceful world.
- Think of others before yourself, humble yourself to the Great Spirit by being thankful.
- Always seek truth, living the truth is living the Seven Teachings.
Turtle Lodge, "What are the 7 Sacred Laws?," http://www.turtlelodge.org/what-are-the-7-sacred-laws/
Sense of Place
A "Sense of Place" grounds the Menominee culture and existence on a specific place on the Earth due to their stories, languages, and histories
Menominee peoples exist on THEIR land. It has been their home since their creation. They exist on the lands of their creation story. Their language originates from their relationships to the land. The history of the Menominee peoples is based off of their relationships to the land and their relations. It is the home of their ancestors, their language, stories, and history. All of these combine to create a sense of identity with the land, themselves, and their relations. Land is life, and life is land. To separate the land from the Menominee is to take away what it means to be Menominee. Their stories and languages tells them they need to take care of their land. It is part of them. When they exploit the land they are abusing themselves.
How Values Manifest in Menominee Forestry Practices
Stories help to create a Menominee identity based on the language, history, stories, and a sense of place with the land
Help to create fundamental values in which people interact with each other and their environment
Seven Sacred Gifts
Help to actualize gifts of the people
Sense of place
Creates a identity and connection to the environment
Sets up responsibilities that people are responsible for maintaining
This combines to create an identity as Menominee peoples that is tied to the land
Treaty Making With Other Orders of Creation
The idea of making treaties with other orders of creation is to set up responsibilities that humans are responsible for maintaining. This includes maintaining and honoring relationships with the animate and inanimate worlds
Grounded in Worldview, language, knowledge systems, and political cultures
Governed by indigenous ethics of justice, peace, respect, reciprocity, and accountability
Rights and responsibilities that needed to be taken seriously
Treaties as a form of adoption
Adopting into the community or family
“Living the Good Life”
Maintaining good relationships was the basis for lasting peace
Best way to live in balance with the natural world and other people
Immediate family, the land, members of the clan, and their relations in the nonhuman world in a good way was the foundation of good governance in a collective sense
Respect, honesty, truth, wisdom, bravery, love, and humility (Seven Sacred Gifts)
Clans connected with particular animal nations, where relationships were formalized, ritualized, and renewed
Treaty making with Animal Nations
Leaders entered into treaty relationships to promote the good life and balance
“Honour and respect our lives and our beings, in life and in death. Cease doing what offends our spirits. Do not waste our flesh. Preserve fields and forests for our homes. To show your commitment to these things and as a remembrance of the anguish you have brought upon us, always leave tobacco leaf from where you take us. Gifts are important to build our relationship once again”
Rituals honor agreements made with animal nations
Leanne Simpson, "Precolonial Nishnaabeg Diplomatic and Treaty Relationships," Wicazo Sa Review, Volume 23, Number 2, Fall 2008 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008), 29-42
Logging in Wisconsin
Before 1836 (when the Menominee nation was forced to cede land) logging only took place in small amounts in Wisconsin. However after the Menominee were forced to give up land logging picked up major speed because the forests previously controlled by the native nation was now open for logging. In the late 1800s until the early 1900s Wisconsin was at the forefront for lumber production in the United States and the lumbering industry led the industrializing economy of Wisconsin. Many of the Menominee nation actually worked for the lumber companies and would cut trees during the winter and pile them up by various rivers, such as the Wolf River, until they thawed out enough to float them down river. Because of the lack of regulation many of the forests were cut through multiple times resulting in the loss of many acres of trees. As logging in the state reduced the size of the forests the logging companies began to promote the use of the land as farmland.
(Logging and Forest Products, Wisconsin Historical Society, www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/tp-027/?action=more_essay.)
Picture of logs floating down the Wolf River
What Drives Governmental Forest Policy?
Although the US government over time has increased the actions it takes to preserve forests, it is mainly for the purpose of preserving resources. In Wisconsin the main resource was its timber. Because timber was Wisconsin’s main resource it caused many of the policies to be geared towards protecting this resource. For example the government wanted to prevent forest fires so that it would save the timber so it could be harvested for economic purposes, or to use the forest for tourism. The government also recognized the negative effects that came from deforested lands, such as erosion. However they were always related these issues to that of the well-being of humans.
New Forest Policies
Over time the government realized that fire prevention measures were causing large amounts of fuel that could trigger very large forest fires so it began measures in the 1995 Federal Wildfire Management Policy to allow for natural fires to burn. This method of wild-land fire use is the least expensive and most effective way to control the buildup of fuel in forests. Another plan created to reduce the amount of large fires was the 2001 National Fire Plan. This plan has four goals which are to improve fire suppression efforts, reduce hazardous fuels, restore fire adaptive ecosystems, and promote community assistance. Although the government has taken steps to promote the reduction of fuels through the policy of natural burns and restoring fire adaptive ecosystems, many of the agencies still use fire suppression as a means to protect the forests. For the most part clear cutting on government owned lands such as national parks is all but eliminated.
(McCarthy, Laura Falk. State of the Natl Fire Plan: Executive Summary. March 2004. www.fusee.org/docs/analysis/national_fire_plan.html)
Timeline of Important Events
• 1876 The Office of Special Agent for forest research is created in the Department of Agriculture to assess the state of the forests in the United States.
• 1881 The Office of the Special Agent is expanded into the newly formed Division of Forestry.
• 1891 The Forest Reserve Act of 1891 authorizes withdrawing land from the public domain as “forest reserves,” managed by the Department of the Interior. Forest reserves created to protect against thieves and profiteers.
• 1901 The Division of Forestry is renamed the Bureau of Forestry.
• 1905 The Transfer Act of 1905 transfers the management of forest reserves from the General Land Office (within the Department of the Interior) to the Bureau of Forestry (within the Department of Agriculture). The name of the agency changes to the Forest Service.
• 1905–1945 National forest management focuses on protecting lands against overgrazing, controlling and combating fire, protecting fish and game, and providing public recreation.
• 1911 The Weeks Act authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to purchase cutover, denuded, and other forested lands for flood and fire control. This new authority led to the expansion of National Forests in the Eastern United States and the protection and restoration of millions of acres of land.
• 1922 The General Land Exchange Act of 1922 authorized the Secretary of Interior to obtain title to privately owned land located within national forest boundaries.
• 1944 The Forest Service begins a campaign stating “Only YOU can prevent forest fires” using a fire-injured bear as a symbol to be careful. Today, “Smokey Bear” is one of the most widely recognized icons in America.
• 1946–1960 National forests experience increased demand on forest resources, especially timber and recreation.
• 1960–1980 in response to shifting public values, the Forest Service shifts focus to managing land as integrated systems, instead of individual resources.
• 1989 The Chief’s New Perspectives initiative stresses ecosystem management and sustainability and is aimed to place timber management in line with other forest values including biodiversity, water quality, and recreation
• 1995 Federal Wildfire Management Policy created. This historic new policy established protocols to allow natural fires to burn and to limit the century-old practice of fire suppression.
• 2001 The National Fire Plan is created to address the buildup of fuels caused by decades of fire suppression, climate change, and developments adjacent to forests.
(Williams, Gerald W. The USDA Forest Service: The First Century, Last updated: 02-Apr-2008, www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Publications/first_century/index.htm.)
What is Sustainability?
Menominee Creation Story as Told Through Literature
The Great Spirit made the Sun, the stars, and the Earth. Mother Earth gave birth to Keso (the Moon). Then the Moon gave birth to twins, whose work was to finish the creation of the world. Before the people came into the world, the land, rivers, mountains, and lakes were formed. After the plants and animals and other living things had all been made, a great bear with a copper tail arose from the ground beside the Menominee River. As the bear explored the land on which he lived, the Great Spirit changed him into a person. This bear became the first Menominee.
Verna Flower, "Creation Story," in
Wisconsin Indian Literature: Anthology of Native Voices
, edited by Kathleen Tigerman (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), 11
Understanding sustainability is fundamental to understand the process that is occurring in the Menominee forest. First let us look at a definition for sustainability:
: a: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged <sustainable
(Merriam-Webster, Online ed., s.v. "Sustainability.")
With sustainability we can see a new way to the future of logging and forest management. with the methods used by the Menominee we can restore and enhance the lands to their former glory while still using them to sustain our own long term goals as a modern civilization. The reason this is; sustainability is not just looking to use resources and then haphazardly putting things back together. With this process the land is tended to and harvested at such a rate that it is not utterly destroyed and will be regenerated at such a rate that damage is hard to notice. Sustainability can trace its roots to the arguments surrounding the Wilderness debate as we will soon learn.
To get an idea of the Menominee and their operation, check out this video: http://climatewisconsin.org/story/forestry
Sustainable Development Institute (SDI)
This was first commissioned in 1993 by community leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds including governance, commerce, education, & natural resource management. By 1995, it received commendation by the United Nations and in 1996, was the first awardee of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development. The institute mirrors itself in traditional Menominee approaches to sustainable development, itself being an integration of tribal wisdom, knowledge, understandings, and practices. Wit h a more focused and comprehensive approach that focuses on the needs of the Menominee today, this balance established values and community life co-opt one another to provide Menominee culture a vital facet that will it to be self-sustaining in the future. The institute, while provided those residents and the tribe in a complete sense, make strong efforts to extend the educational values and kinship of the Menominee culture to another.
Center for First American Forestlands
. Sustainability and its development have roots in a movement that was birthed in debates surrounding preservation. The main concept of conservation surrounds the idea that you put land aside so that in the future it can be harvested for its resources. It is a way to spread out resources over time so that you do not run the risk of over harvesting while it won over some in the debate, others quickly saw the single flaw that made conservation a non-starter. It did not truly preserve anything for a long term amount of time. Eventually the land as it were was liable to be eradicated at a future date thus did not offer the protection that was needed at the time. Preservationists were looking at long term protection that would leave the forests untouched thus preserving the natural beauty and leaving it to be used by people as a recreational pastime and a literal escape from the toil of daily life. (Roderick F. Nash,
Wilderness & The American Mind
(Yale: Yale University, 2001) P. 129.)
This important partnership operates by comprising all three branches of the USDA forest Service with the College of Menominee Nations. This began in 2003 and is a positive and mutually beneficial venture f0r both. The US Forest Service recognizes the efforts and contributions of the Menominee for keeping the land beneficial and valuable, and the Menominee are supported through financial means and ties, through extended partnerships through the Forest System.
Office of Tribal Relations
. How does preservation get around this dilemma? Well it managed to circumnavigate this problem by working on the same plot of land over time. The Menominee manage to show s practice at work when they decided to cut areas of land by year. What they accomplished with this method was they did not harm large amounts of land all at once. They did not simply sweep left to right and cut down every tree that stands. No, they selectively cut certain patches of land while leaving alone other patches of land to be either be cut or cut another year, sometimes to be cut nearly twenty years into the future. When the year changed over they moved onot the next piece of land and thus let the land previously cut alone. It is with this method that the Menominee found such success.
The US Forest Service began a program in 1988, establishing Tribal needs and providing executive decision. In 2004, the Office of Tribal Relations was formed as a permanent staff to facilitate discussion and collaboration to regulate long term policy and direction, and to garner helpful relationships and trust between the federal employees. This extensive consultation explores innovative ways to interact with tribes, tribal members, while conserving the responsibilities of the Forest Service to best respect tribe's reserved rights and trust. They work with internal and external partners to best assist in these relationships.
Menominee Business Center
The facility was built in 1996, but the plan was sponsored originally as part of a comprehensive economic development plan for the reservation/county. According to its department mission, the Business Center, has worked with the following agencies throughout the past years, the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, USDA-Rural Development, HUD-Indian Community Development Block Grant, and the Northwoods NiiJii Enterprise Community
"This partnership are prime examples of how community based organizations and state government can work together to meet the needs of our communities."
Menominee Community Center of Chicago
. From here we can see the decisions made by the Menominee since the 1920's. Each color represents a different plot of land to be cut by year. As you can see the land is not cut down in a sweeping fashion as is to be expected, but instead it is carefully planned and not all of the land is disrupted. with this it leaves plenty to be untouched and the land is given time to heal and become whole. While it can be seen as conservation on a small scale; it is for this reason that it works so well. It allows the land to become a part of the community at large when a singular goal of work and care come together.
(1930 Map of Menominee Reservation, College of Menominee Nation,
S. Verna Fowler Academic Library
Menominee Public Library
Special Collections Map Drawer, Drawer 3)
"Over half of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin lives off-reservation. Regrettably, the ties between the Menominee's reservation and urban populations, like those between the split populations of so many Indian nations, have been tenuous for decades. In 1994, a group of Menominee Indians living in Chicago reached out to the tribe and the Tribe reciprocated. Now, the Menominee Community Center of Chicago is an official community of the Menominee Nation and its members are active participants in tribal culture and governance, strengthening and being strengthened by this renewed connection. This case study examines the steps taken by reservation and urban Menominee to build a bridge between their respective communities and reinforce the ties of the Menominee Tribe.
Sustainability and The Wilderness Ideal
Pre-Engineering Education Cooperative
The question remains however, how do we merge the Wilderness Ideal with sustainability?
Well as I understand it from the landmark legislation known as the Wilderness Act, passed by the United States government, the wilderness ideal encompasses the idea that a man can use a large amount of land mostly untouched wilderness to get away from civilization and enjoy the beauty and recreation that occurs in untamed land. (88th Congress, "The Wilderness Act of 1964", in The Great New Wilderness Debate, edited by J. Baird Callicott And Michael P. Nelson (Athen: The University Of Georgia Press, 1998), 120.)
The National Science Foundation has funded this for the last three years, presumably the 4th this year, between the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and the College of the Menominee Nation. It helps to establish network for students to transfer to partner institutions and gain their two-year associate degree CMN. This is designed as an effort to increase the number of Tribal peoples involved in engineering. Included in this partnership is a home-base campus.
Center for First Americans Forestlands (cont.)
Mission Statement- "To synthesize the best practices of forest ecology, utilization, and American Indian expertise, and to apply this knowledge to sustainable forestry practices and sustainable development."
The CMN main partnership with the US government and main outlet to extend these services. They work with various other operations interested in sustainable forestry, including but not limited to:
American Indian Tribal Governments and Communities
American Indian Forest and Land Managers
American Indian allottees of forested land
Communities of interest in forest management, products, harvest, & utilization
Tribal colleges, universities, and other educational institutions
Some of the various projects in their management of forestry and ecology sustainability include the following:
Forest products utilization and marketing
Technical advances to improve forest production
Value-added wood products, reinforcements in manufacturing
Better utilization of mixed species
Economic potential of non-timber forest products
Ethno-botanical applications, wood species attributes
Educational program development
2. While this may seem like it puts sustainability at a major disadvantage in actuality one only needs to get around one major idea in order to begin considering a place like the Menominee Forest as meeting this criteria. That idea being that no matter what we do as humans we will always have an effect on the Wilderness around us. National Geographic has even gone so far as to list visitors as a threat to our national parks. (Top Ten Issues Facing National Parks, National Geographic, last accessed December 1st, 2013, http://www.nationalgeographic.com/.) With that in mind we can begin to see that our brethren make an impact on the land around us no matter how we like to imagine the wilderness ideal as maintaining complete and utter safety for so called untouched lands.
When we put aside this criteria of the land being untouched and being unused by man we can begin to look more intently at the lands merit. om this standpoint the Menominee forest has made amazing strides in caring for and enhancing local land.
The Menominee have accomplished through sustainability:
1. Used planning in order to have more trees standing today as opposed to 150 years ago.
2. Created an ecologically diverse landscape that includes 235,000 acres, 400 miles of river and 33 species of trees.
3. The preservation of historical trees in the forest.
4. Their success is easily visible from space and can be seen in satellite photos that clearly outline the Menominee Forest.
5. The Menominee forest also includes some recreational activities that have become common place in national parks. These activities include river rafting.
6. Created a college of sustainability to spread their practices around the world.
(Menominee Tribal Enterprises, The Menominee Forest-Based Sustainable Development Tradition, p. 2, 9, 14, 20)
"The purpose of the Sustainable Development Institute is to ensure the principles of sustainability committed to by the College of Menominee Nation and integrated in our Menominee culture and values, influence the activities of our Institute, our College, our community, and our tribe. The Sustainable Development Institute supports and advances sustainable ways through a variety of initiatives."
(College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute, Menominee Value Of Sustainability, last accessed December 1st, 2013, http://sustainabledevelopmentinstitute.org/.)
Menominee Sustainability Accomplishments
Sustainability is the way of the future as it manages to accomplish both the goals of conservation and the goals of the wilderness ideal. With sustainability you can create vast expanses of land that can be used for recreation purposes to offer an escape from civilization. You can also accomplish the ecological goals of the wilderness ideal as proven by the Menominee Forest by having old and historic trees that are essentially preserved and expanding as shown by the ecological expansion that occurred under the Menominee's watch. It also accomplishes conservationist goal of creating a steady supply of renewable resources at a steady rate for the rest of the forests days. Sustainability works by making sure that there is a constant and steady supply that, if all goes correctly, never runs out and does not damage the forest. This offers the complete package that is simply too good to resist. It has been done and it can be expanded to other parts of the world. It is the way forward. When taken in the full sum of it's parts it is a hard deal to shoot down.
98 (2010)- Zoar is a census-designated place (CDP and unincorporated community. Zoar is located along Wisconsin Highway 47 approximately 3 mi northwest of Neopit
690 (2010)- Neopit is a census-designated place (CDP)
690 (2010)- Middle Village is a CDP. It does not have any legal status as an incorporated municipality. On current WisDOT maps, the community is called Nanaweyah Ominihekan
1262 (2010)- Keshena is a CDP. The county seat of Menominee County
1525 (2010)- Legend Lake is a CDP
Why Demographics are Important
The Menominee have experienced real successes in cultivating their forestry and sustainability practices, but the Nation faces real economic challenges for the future. From 2000-2010, the population of Menominee Co. decreased 7.2% from 4,562-4,232. This puts them at the lowest populated county and tied for the 4th worst growth rate in Wisconsin. Even though Menominee number 3,701, 87.5% of the total population in the county, the median household income for the Menominee is $28,557 while the income for the non-native population is $56,875. However, as a whole, the median household income is ranked last in the state, measured at $31,076, over $20,000 lower than the state average. Total per capita income of $14,794 is also the worst in Wisconsin. When measured on a poverty index, levels are drastically high: 31.6% are impoverished, compared with the Wisconsin average of 11.2%
Why Demographics Are Important cont.
Though the problems appear to be growing more severe, their outlook cannot be said to be completely pessimistic; the Menominee have a couple avenues they have well already pursued in achieving economic sustainability. One option that has been discussed in great detail is the creation of a Menominee Casino & Resort in Kenosha, which would surely bring in revenue but proves to be a complicated situation politically. While much of their current focus is on that issue, the Sustainable Development Institute and the College of Menominee Nation, along with the Tribal Enterprise and Forestry Centers, have provided a mission and platform for sustainability that had not existed 20-30 years ago. The Menominee Business Center helps foster entrepreneurial growth within the Menominee framework and helps provide for communities. The creation of the Menominee Language & Culture Center is another outlet of this increasing awareness and celebration of their heritage.
Why Demographics Are Important cont.
With the addition of the US Forest Service and other partnerships, the Menominee Nation has set a strong foundation for the future by providing a lasting commitment and geographic center for furthering their studies. By highlighting their culture, agricultural achievements, and forestry techniques, the Menominee have bolstered their campus by linking up with other communities to form partnerships elsewhere, such as the Community Center of Chicago, and the Green Bay Campus of CMN serves over 200 students. Though median household income is ranked worst, it was still a 5.56% increase from 2000. Projected population for 2012 shows that Menominee County stands to gain residents, despite having a 7.2% decrease a decade earlier. Because so many Menominee (over one half) live off the reservation, it is vital that these educational opportunities exist. The Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin have nearly perfected their forestry techniques for sustainability, and they are making more crossroads every year with sustaining Menominee County as a whole. By continuing to link these networks, these institutions can help provide residents with outlets for not only their own personal situations and desires, but in the advancement of the interests of the Menominee Nation.
Locations of Menominee County
Driving Times of Menominee County
Colonial Treaty Making
The Menominee Nation entered the treaty ear with the United States nearly tow centuries after Europeans made contact with the Indigenous Peoples. That contact occurred in 1634 when Jean Nicolet arrived at Green Bay by the request of Governor Samuel Champlain of Canada to establish trading relationships with the Indigenous nations around the Great Lakes area. The fur trade between the Menominee and the French began in 1667 and continued for the next 100 years, strengthening their relationship commercially and politically. War between England and France erupted in 1712 over territorial claims i North America. The Menominee sided with the French assisting them in several battles, control of the area shifted from France to England in 1763 when all battles were done between these two competing European Nations. England maintained a military regimen and trading posts while occupying these lands. England did not remove the exhausted Menominee people or any other nations from these homelands.
Control of the area passed to the United States in 1815 at the end of the War of 1812 between the Untied States and England. The Menominee, who had assisted England in this conflict signed the first of many treaties with the United States. The treaty of St. Louis (signed March 30, 1817) was the intention of maintaining peace between signatories and the acknowledgment that the Menominee people from this time on, were under the protection of the United States. The only stipulation regarding property cessions in this treaty stated that any lands from previous treaties transferred the rights of the Menominee Nation to the British, French, or Spanish governments would now be considered the property of the United States. By this time, with all the fraud being committed by Europeans and now by the United States, The Menominee homeland was estimated to cover 9.5 million acres of land within what would later be known as Wisconsin.
Between 1816 and 1821 Eleazer Williams appeared in the vicinity of Green Bay. he claimed to represent an Indian alliance that sought to purchase land from the Menominee for the establishment of and Indian homeland for the tribes from the northeast. Williams plans coincided with the federal government and the government of New York State, who sent Dr. Jedediah Morse west to the Great Lakes region at the same time to located a homeland for the Stockbrigdge people. The Stockbridge had been evicted from their homelands in Massachusetts and New York through a series of land takeovers by the state governments and land companies. Negotiations between Williams and the Menominee and Winnebago resulted in the persuasion of the Wisconsin tribes to grant land to William's enterprise, a five mile wide strip of land, centered on the Fox River and extending from the Grand Kakalin Rapids on the Fox River to the rapids at Winnebago Lake ( Trowbridge Treaty, signed August 18, 1821). Efforts to increase the land base for the New York Nations (Stockbridge, Oneida, Tuscarora, St. Regis, and Munsee) resulted in a further yielding of lands held by the Menominee. President James Monroe modified the treaty, prohibiting access of the New York Nations to land that lay between Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay, and the Fox River and specifically to land purchased by the New York Nations in 1821. The more limited territory was for the New York Nations. Monroe's decision resolved the immediate problem of locating a place for the Ne York Nations to land, but occupancy disputes between the Menominee, Winnebago, and eastern nations developed. Resulting in years of protracted settlement negations.
Arrival of the Eastern Nations
In 1825, the federal government signed a treaty with the Sioux, Chippewas, Sauk, Fox, Menominee, Iowa, Winnebago, Ottawa, and Pottawatomie nations that was designed to establish boundaries between these nations (treaty of Praririe des Chiens, August 19, 1825). This treaty was updated in 1826 (treaty of Font du La with the Chippewa, 1826), but it reserved boundary settlement between the Chippewa, Winnebago, and Menominee for yet another agreement. Participants at ta treaty conference held at Buttee des Morts in 1827 confirmed defined boundaries for the Menominee, Winnebago, and the Chippewa, but arrived at no resolution to land disputes with the New York nations. This treaty stated that the agreement could be altered again if the establish boundaries were found to conflict with the claims of the New York Nations.
Ongoing disputes between the Menominee and the New York Nations led to non-natives being assigned to resolve the conflict in 1830, resulting in the 1831 treaty with the Menominee. This document set out the boundaries of the Menominee territory, reserving approximately 500,000 acres as a homeland for the New York Nations, and further reserving the nation's territory for timber and firewood gathering by the U.S. military. The treaty allowed the United States to take two million five hundred thousand acres of the Menominee homeland, in addition, to use as much land as needed for future highway construction through and around tribal land. For these privileges granted by the U.S. government, the United States paid the Menominee $20,000 for that property and agreed to construct a saw mill and grain mill on the Fox River to produce lumber and grain for the Menominee people. Unhappy with the property settlement, the Menominee, New York nations and the United States again tackled boundary issues, in what was described as a 'tedious perplexing, and harassing dispute and controversy.' The resulting agreement (Treaty with the Menominee, October 27, 1832) allowed 200,000 acres along the northeastern boundary for the New York nations to be exchanged with 200,000 acres of Menominee property along the southwestern boundary
Refusal to Move
In 1830 the U.S. Congress passed an act that would regulate trade and preserve peace on the frontiers. More commonly known as the Indian Removal Act, the statues offered quasi-protection to native people by establishment a boundary limiting white expansion, while removing tribes to territories west of the boundary, which was the Mississippi River. In 1836, the same year that Congress created the Wisconsin Territory, the United States had the Menominee sign yet another treaty for land rights (Treaty of Cedar Point September 3, 1836). A negotiator for the federal government attempted to persuade the Menominee people to part with all their land in Wisconsin, and to move to areas west of the Mississippi. The Menominee refused, but did agree to let go another 4 million acres of their homeland within the boundaries of the Wolf, Menominee, and Fox Rivers, Green Bay, and Winnebago Lake. In return, the Menominee were to receive various annuity payments, provision,s and repayment of debts. The compensation for 4 million acres amounted to approximately 17 cents an acre.
The southern growth belt allowed the Menominee to be left alone from treaties for a few more years. However, between the period of 1830 and 1850, populations in the Midwest territories grew from 4,000 to over 300.000, with large numbers of farmers arriving after 1846. The federal government made every effort to remove all remaining native people from land that was considered valuable for farms and homesteads. Indian lands continued to diminish. The 1830 treaty which was to preserve and the protect the Oneida, convinced to give up their title and rights to the United States, land that had been acquired from the Menominee in treaties of 1831 and 1832. The treaty with the Stockbridge and Munsee also resulted in transferring their rights to the U.S. for acreage near Lake Winnebago that had also been a part of the Menominee homeland.
In 1842 and 1846 the Menominee survived three more attempts to grab their remaining land. The members of the Wisconsin Territorial legislature petitioned President John Tyler to purchase the remaining Menominee land. President Tyler took no action on the petition. In 1846 and 1847 the Menominee fended off two additional offers by local Indian Office. The determination fo the federal government to dominate Menominee land exhausted the resistance of the Menominee people. In 1848, a complete turnover of Menominee territory occurred at Lake Poygan (treaty with the Menominee, 1848, October 18, 1848). Menominee tribe Indians agreed to grant land to the United States, all their lad in the State of Wisconsin, in return, the United States assigned the Menominee 600.000 acres along Crow Wing River, west of the Mississippi River and $350,000 in provisions, annuity payments, and stipends. To help ease the expenses they were permitted to remain on their own land for two years or until they had need for their land. Negotiations for this treaty were uneasy. The reluctant Menominee signed the treaty under he threat of forcible removal if they refuse. Fortunately for the Menominee a clause in the document had a provision that allowed the tribe member s to inspect the Crow Wing site and approve of the area before their removal. Once inspect, the Menominee people objected to the site on the basis of its location and that absence of game and wild rice. They appealed the 1848 treaty directly to President Millard Filmore and were granted a temporary home in the stony swamplands of Wisconsin in 1852. This site became the Menominee's permanent home in 1854.
In 1854, the Menominee and the United States signed another treaty, this time at Wolf River (treaty with the Menominee, 1854, May 12, 1854) allowing the Menominee to remain in Wisconsin, on a reservation that included 12 townships along the Wolf River. With this agreement the Menominee nation gave up the Crow Wing River land in Minnesota. Two years later the United States carved away the southwestern corner of the reservation and created a reservation for the Stockbridge and Munsee peoples (Treaty with the Stockbridge and Munsee, 1856, February 5, 1856). The United States justified this action by stating that two parcels of land had not been settled permanently by the Menominee and therefor were open for use by the Stockbridge and Munsee. This final land allowance left the Menominee with 230,000 acres, out of more than 9 million acres they had originally used. For all their relinquished land, they received an estimated 13.5 cents per acre.
Creation of the Current Reservation
In order to see exactly how effective and advanced the Menominee forestry practices are, we must compare them to methods used by others, such as the federal government. This section gives an overview of what the federal forest policy has been, what influenced it to be this way, and also how it has changed over time into what it is today.
This presentation was created as a class project for History 302: Problems in American Thought: Wilderness, for the Fall 2013 semester at University of Wisconsin- Green Bay
Who are the Menominee?
The Menominee are a group of Indigenous peoples native to what is now Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois. The Menominee have been in this area for 10,000 years. During the 1800's the Menominee occupied 10 million ares. Through the use of treaties, the Menominee's land base shrunk to 235,000 acres. During the 1950's the federal government terminated the Menominee Nation. This means that the federal government no longer recognized the Menominee as a federally recognized tribe. Through a grass roots efforts , the Menominee Nation was able to lobby the federal government to recognize it in 1973.
Brief History, "About Us," http://www.menominee-nsn.gov/MITW/aboutUs.aspx
Closure and Concluding Connections
For thousands of years, the Menominee have lived on an estimated 10 million acres of land in what is now Wisconsin and upper Michigan. They are the oldest indigenous community still located on their ancestral lands. They could say that the Menominee people have been there forever. Their creation story takes them to their origin which starts at the mouth of the Menominee River, where they began. The only divided territory within this area was controlled by a band of Menominee. Bands or smaller groups helped the Menominee to disperse their population in order to not deplete their resources in a particular area. The nation consists of five clans; the bear, eagle, moose, and crane which helped to define peoples relationships with each other and their responsibilities to the land, family, and nation. These relationships manifest them in Silviculture.
To guarantee that their forest is preserved, the Menominee Forestry cultivation supports the need for balance between the forest, community, and economy. This is a traditional value that looks out for the for the present and future generations. Menominee culture and traditions teach to never take more resources that can be produced within a natural growing cycle, so that all life can be sustained. These traditional belies are the foundations of the management practices and principles of today's Menominee Tribal Enterprises (MTE) operations. This concept of sustainability in the management of the forests allows the Menominee to experience a traditional quality of life from a natural, diverse, hearty, and productive ecosystem on the land of the Menominee. Silviculture; the art of cultivating forests, assures the regrowth of seeds and saplings in this ecological system. Chief Oshkosh, a former Menominee tribal leader, came up with the idea of cutting across the reservation at a pace that reassures there would always be trees to cut.
Silviculture and Traditional Values
Considering the Nation's history since European contact and all the events that occurred, the Menominee remain today, an island of green lush timber in an ocean of cleared land says something about the wisdom and foresight of those who first set the course, and through all the trials and tribulations, still maintain it. When the present reservation was established in 1854, there was an estimated 1.5 billion board feet of timber. When first recorded in 1864 to 1988, there has been over 2.0 billion board feet of timber harvested. The recent inventory of bulk indicated that the board feet of timber still remains at 1.5 billion board feet. This is after 135 years of silviculture on the same acreage
Silviculture and Sustainability
1634: French Explorer Jean Nicolet arrives in Green Bay
1667: The French begin to trade furs with the Menominee
1700: The Fox rise up against French authority in Wisconsin. The Menominee side with the French
1800s: The Menominee villages along the Fox, Wolf, and Octonto Rivers, Lake Winnebago, Green Bay, and even as far west as the Wisconsin River
1830: The federal government decides to buy land from the Menominee in order to expand their own land base
1831 and 1832: The federal government negotiated three new treaties which took 3.5 million acres of Menominee land to be shared with the New York Indian Nations. The US kept a large portion of the land
1836: The Menominee sold most of their land in northeastern Wisconsin and a small strip along the Wisconsin River via the Treaty of the Cedars
1848: Menominee refuse to be moved to Minnesota
1852: Menominee granted temporary reservation along the Wolf River
1854: Menominee sign treaty establishing current reservation
1856: Menominee provide approximately 46,000 acres to the Stockbridge-Munsee Nation
1860's: White-owned logging companies steal rich lumber on the reservation
1865: Sustainable forestry practiced on the reservation
1872: Menominee receive temporary permission to harvest their own timber
1890: Menominee and US governments establish an agreement to preserve Menominee forests with US supervising
1950s: Menominee Nation is terminated by US government
1970: DRUMS is established
1973: Menominee nation is restored
Clans and Values
Why Partnerships are important
The partnerships that the Menominee Nation have developed go back to the 4 R's of respect, responsibility, reciprocity, and relationships. By building relationships, the Menominee are expanding their knowledge base and offering reciprocity by sharing their knowledge. They feel they have a responsibility to share this information with others who seek it. By showing others how to respect the Earth, they are honoring their treaties with other orders of creation.
The purpose of this project is to see if there are any connections between the Euro-American ideas of the wilderness, conservation, preservation, and sustainability; while examining the forestry practices of the Menominee Nation
Statement of Purpose
The 4 R's help to create foundational values in which the Menominee interact with the animate and inanimate worlds
Menominee Tribal Enterprises (MTE), “The Forest Keepers.”
The Menominee Forest Management Tradition; History, Principles and Practices, April, 1997.
M.T.E. Sustainable Forestry to improve Forest Health and Create Jobs. Case Study; Catherine M. Mater, 1998 John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation.
Forest Habitat Type Classification for the Menominee Indian Reservation. John Kotar and Timothy L. Burger, 1989.
Early Logging on the Menominee Indian Reservation. Life and Love of Menominee Lumberjacks. Various Authors, March, 2008.