- Posted April 21, 2014 by
The Truth behind Menominee Native Americans
Native Americans. A culture that many people do not fully understand, and one cannot educate your average person about each tribe. My name is Marina Ciskoski and I am a Menominee Indian. The Menominee tribe is full of culture, history, and is located 45 miles northwest of Green Bay in the state of Wisconsin in a little town called Keshena.
The Menomonie native’s dated back to 10,000 years ago, where they were believed to first step food on what we now know as Wisconsin. Menomonie’s land estimate was at 10 million acres but due to erosion only possess 235,000 acres today. The Tribe experienced further setbacks in the 1950’s with the U.S. Congress’ passage of the Menominee Termination Act, which removed federal recognition over the Tribe and deprived the Menominee people of their cultural identity. Fortunately, the Tribe won back its federal recognition in 1973 through a long and difficult grassroots movement that culminated with the passage of the Menominee Restoration Act, on December 22, 1973 (Menominee Indian Tribe Website, 2014).
“Today, the Tribe remains a proud and resilient tribe living on the some of the most beautiful lands to ever grace this earth. The Tribe’s members enjoy pristine lakes, rivers, and streams, over 219,000 acres of the richest forests in the Nation, and an abundance of plant and animal life. The Tribe cherishes its natural resources and considers itself to be very fortunate to have them, but the richness of the Tribe’s surroundings is often overshadowed by the many social ills Menominee people suffer. Like many other Tribes in this Nation, we are greatly dependent on funding provided by the Federal government to help us address and overcome these difficult challenges, and we are especially dependent upon funding provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service” (Menominee Indian Tribe Website, 2014).
“Among the State’s 72 counties, Menominee County is unquestionably the one county with the greatest and most immediate need. According to the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health – Public Health Institute, in 2010 Menominee County ranked last in the overall quality of health. It had the highest mortality rate (11,904, adj. per 100,000), highest rate of smoking during pregnancy (44%), highest obesity rate (38.0%), highest teen birth rate (103.8, adj. per 1,000), highest unemployment rate (10%), highest number of children living in poverty (51%), highest violent crime rate (958, adj. per 100,000), and the highest number of single parent households (26%) (Menominee Indian Tribe Website, 2014)”.
“Although the Tribe has over 8,700 members, less than half are able to reside on the Reservation due to the lack of employment opportunities, available housing, and an aging infrastructure that is incapable of sustaining current demand, let alone take on additional residents or economic development opportunities. It is the Tribe’s sincere hope that, with the help of Congress, the Tribe can transform the Reservation and Menominee County back into a place Menominee will return to for occupational, economic, educational, housing, cultural, and other opportunities (Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, 2014)”.
Not every tribe lands on top like many may see it. The Menominee’s live in peace on their reservation, but many wish things would change. Understanding cultural differences are happening around us is the first step to understanding the life that many Menominee Indians are living today.
"Menominee Indian Tribe Of Wisconsin." Menominee Indian Tribe Of Wisconsin. Web. 20 Apr. 2014