Menomonie, Wisconsin History/gannonl6582

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The Ojibwe

The Ojibwe tribe once owned the land of Menomonie. Ojibwe were an Algonquain speaking tribe along with many others. Even though there is a tribe called the Menominee, they are actually not from this region. They were involved in many wars which resulted in treaties and copious amounts of deaths of great men and women. After multiple wars and feuds, the Sioux gained ownership, and eventually sold it off.

Feud With The Sioux[edit]

The Ojibwe tribe was in a very extensive feud with the Sioux. The sioux is actually the Dakota tribe; the word sioux is a shortened version of the word Nadouessioux, which means enemy.[1] The feud they were involved with is mostly about land control. The Ojibwe tribe was a migratory tribe and during their migrations they crossed into territories of the Sioux. They also battled the Foxes over the same topic. Every step they took they were creating a new battle with one of the two tribes. Ojibwe people fought onward until they made it to a sandy shore called Chequamegon. At this point, they were harassed and forced out to La Pointe, located on an adjacent island. Even though La Pointe was about two miles from the Great Lakes shore, they were still not completely safe from attacks by their enemies. It is said that two members of the Sioux had stationed themselves on the west end of the island and swam two and a half miles to the eastern end. When they reached their destination they attacked a family of Ojibwe’s who were fishing by torchlight. The Sioux returned to their base with the heads of four of the Ojibwe’s and their canoe. Early that morning, the Ojibwe’s found the mangled bodies, gathered the warriors and began to pursue the Sioux. These turns of events led into a really extensive war between the two tribes.

Battle Near Rice Lake[edit]

It was early fall of 1855, prime trapping season, when Chief Na-Non-Gabe and thirty-eight warriors set off on foot looking for places to trap.[2] They traveled down the Red Cedar River and over to another river called the Hay River. From there they traveled a few miles to the village of Prairie Farm. At this point they came in contact with a large army of Sioux warriors. They began to retreat and out of an ambush crowd behind them, a Sioux warrior jumped on the chief’s back and he had no chance of fighting back. They slaughtered him with a tomahawk and scalped him. There was a great memorial for Chief Na-Non-Gabe. He was part of the signing of the treaties with the whites, which later led to the logging era of Knapp, Stout, and Co. The whites started settling in Barron County and eventually making their way towards Rice Lake which was a very large Ojibwe reservation. The Indians were rather confused on how the whites could just come in and take their land away from them. The whites even took over their villages and burying grounds. These whites were french and came mostly for the fur, which was offered in trades from the indians. Once the whites took over the burying grounds though, that really made the Indians mad. The tension was high and there was very hatred feelings towards the whites.

War Dance In Barron County[edit]

The Chippewas celebrated a war dance in Barron County at one of the five Chippewa reservations.[3] What they were dancing about was the death of their enemies, the Sioux. The war dance was in honor for the visiting Sioux members as well. They traveled all the way from South Dakota to attend this event. Although the dance was the main event, there were several other things to do there as well. This includes, log rolling competition, boxing, boat races, pony races, bow and arrow contest, and baseball. There was very many speakers who attended this event and delivered their speeches.


Success of the hunter depended on how well the hunter knew its prey.[4] He had to know how to approach close enough without being detected; they had to be silent, but fast. They also needed to be very accurate and powerful with their weapons. It takes a very high set of skills to accomplish an activity like this, but for them it was do or die. The indians needed this meat for proteins and fats and just food in general. If the hunter was lucky he would be able to do it alone, but it was much easier of a task with a larger group. They would surround the animal and move in for the kill together, leaving the animal with minimal escape routes and almost a guaranteed kill. Besides using the bow and arrow method to kill, they also used a pit trap. The pit was strategically dugout in the habitat of where the animal resigned and covered in camouflage with a pile of bait on type. The bait would lure in the animal and when it would step on the trap it would fall in the pit and not be able to get out. There was one other method they used on small animals as well; this method is called snaring. The snare was made from strips of braided tree roots and took little to no skill. All the hunter was to do was set it in hopes that an animal would run through the snare and get caught in it.

Native Americans
Ojibwe Warriors

External Link[edit]



Chippewa Valley History


Wild Rice


  1. Bartlett, W. (1929). History, tradition and adventure in the Chippewa Valley. Eau Claire, Wis.: The author.
  2. Chippewa Chief Tells Story of Indian Battle Fought Near Prairie Farm, 1855. (1925, April 2). Dunn County News.
  3. Chippewa's Give War Dance in Honor of Ancient Enemies of Sioux Tribe. (1922, September 7). The Eau Claire Leader
  4. Ojibwa Food and Farming Methods. (n.d.). Retrieved November 12, 2015, from