Menomonie, Wisconsin History/baresb3156

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Native American
woods in Dunn County

Menominee Tribe

Menominee Tribe[edit]

The Menominee people never inhabited Menomonie but instead lived around the Green Bay area. Their name comes from an Algonkian word, which is their main language, that means "wild rice"[1]. They are the only tribe that originated in Wisconsin and still remain there today, which is remarkable because of how hard the government tried to remove them.

Fighting Termination[edit]

The Menominee tribe has been through many hardships such as fighting for their land, standing up against termination, and battling recent absurd governmental hardships towards their tribe. White settlers came and began to wipe out the smaller Algonquian tribes and this worried the small and power lacking Menominee.The Menominee tribe reached out to the powerful Dakota and Ojibwe to unite, even though the tribes had conflicted in the past, and were able to remain despite the attempts by the settlers to remove them. The U.S. government terminated their status as an Indian Nation in 1961, declaring Menominee lands no longer in need of protection (Native Languages, 2005). By determining that the Menominee people were well enough off on their own, the government caused them even more hardship and struggle. “Within three years of this decision to no longer give them protection, the Menominee became one of the first tribes in the United States to undergo a new federal program called Termination. The tribe was terminated in the 1950s under federal policy of the time. During that period, they brought what has become a landmark case in Indian law to the United States Supreme Court, to protect their hunting and fishing rights. The Wisconsin Supreme Court and the United States Court of Claims had drawn opposing conclusions about the effect of the termination on Menominee hunting and fishing rights on their former reservation land. The US Supreme Court determined that the tribe had not lost traditional hunting and fishing rights as a result of termination, as Congress had not clearly ended these in its legislation. The tribe regained federal recognition in 1973 in an act of Congress, and re-established its reservation in 1975.

Recent Government Absurdity[edit]

DEA Destroys Legal Hemp Crops[edit]

In May of 2015, the Menominee tribe was approved to legally grow industrial hemp on their reservation under the 2014 farm act. The way that the tribe went about growing the hemp was completely legal in United States Law and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. In response the federal actions, Chairman Besaw stated the following: “I am deeply disappointed that the Obama administration has made the decision to utilize the full force of the DEA to raid our Tribe. We were attempting to grow industrial hemp for research purposes in accordance with the farm bill. We offered to take any differences in the interpretation of the farm bill to federal court. Instead, the Obama administration sent agents to destroy our crop while allowing recreational marijuana in Colorado. I just wish the President would explain to tribes why we can't grow industrial hemp like the states, and even more importantly, why we don't deserve an opportunity to make our argument to a federal judge rather than having our community raided by the DEA?” In the spring of 2015, the Tribe, acting under an agreement with College of the Menominee Nation. (an “Institution of Higher Education allowed to conduct industrial hemp research under the 2014 Farm Bill) planted an industrial hemp crop on Tribal lands. The State of Wisconsin has no jurisdiction over Tribal activities on these lands."[2]

External Links[edit]