Menominee - History and Cultural Relations

In the mid-seventeenth century the native groups neighboring the Menominee included the Chippewa to the north, the Winnebago to the south, and the Sauk, Fox, and Kickapoo to the west. The tribes that maintained the closest relations with the Menominee until immediately prior to the reservation period were the Winnebago and Chippewa. Intermarriage with these groups was so extensive that close links have continued through the modern period. Contact with French fur traders occurred about 1667 and with Jesuit missionaries in 1671. As close allies of the French, the Menominee prospered in the fur trade and by 1736 had become one of the dominant tribes in the region. In 1815 the Menominee came under the Control of the United States. At about this time, game in the Menominee territory was being rapidly depleted, and consequently the Menominee began ceding their lands to the United States. By 1854 the Menominee had ceded all of their lands and were removed to a four-hundred-square-mile Reservation along the upper Wolf River in the heart of their former territory. In 1961 federal jurisdiction over the Menominee reservation, guaranteed by treaty in 1854, was terminated and then restored in 1973.

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