We live on their land, so the least we can do is learn about their life.
Did you know? Wisconsin’s tribal nations have their own tourism board, Native American Tourism of Wisconsin (NATOW), to promote and encourage people to visit reservations.
Wisconsin is home to 11 federally-recognized tribes. Not all have their own reservation, but those that do often have something to draw visitors— whether that’s a casino, gift shop, or museum.
Here are 9 Wisconsin reservations open to visitors:
Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
The Bad River Band reservation spans more than 125,000 acres on the South shore of Lake Superior— 90 percent of which is wetlands. The Bad River Band welcomes visitors to their casino lodge, and RV resort.
Tip: Don’t miss the carefully-crafted handmade items and manomin (wild rice) harvested in the area for sale in the Three Eagle Gift Shop.
Forest County Potawatomi
The Potawatomi have a deep-rooted history in Wisconsin, as some of the first hunters and traders in the region. Although their reservation lands are small relative to others in Wisconsin, they have one of the best attractions for non-indigenous people to learn about indigenous history and culture.
Tip: In addition to the Potawatomi Carter Hotel and Casino in Wabeno, visit the Forest County Potawatomi Culture Center, Library, and Museum in Crandon.
Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
The Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa’s reservation surrounds Lac Courte Oreilles, a lake in northwestern Wisconsin. The large body of water near Hayward is great for boating and fishing. The Lac Courte own The Landing Resort and hold the record for the world’s largest musky (a freshwater fish that’s part of the pike family, for those unfamiliar).
Tip: Bring your clubs and head to the nearby off-reservation trust land for a round or two at the Big Fish Golf Club, an 18-hole championship course designed by Pete Dye.
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
The Lac du Flambeau reservation encompasses more than 86,000 acres of forest and 260 lakes, providing year-round recreation. Visitors can fish, waterski, boat, snowmobile, and/or cross-country ski. The Lake of Torches Resort & Casino is a great place to try your luck at the slots.
Tip: Stop by The George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center to learn about Lac Du Flambeau’s history and check out interactive exhibits and cultural programs. During the summer months, you can join a pow-wow!
Menominee Nation of Wisconsin
The Menominee Tribe’s reservation is not only Wisconsin’s largest, but the largest reservation east of the Mississippi River with 350 square miles of forest! Visitors can stay at the Menominee Hotel and Casino and enjoy an abundance of outdoor recreation.
Tip: The Menominee Cultural Museum, open year-round, has a wide selection of artifacts and exhibits showcasing the tribe’s history. And the Logging Museum, open during the summer months, is another engaging, educational stop.
Sokaogon Chippewa (Mole Lake)
Like Wisconsin’s other reservations, Mole Lake is perfect for adventurers— with trails for snowmobiling, hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and more. Mole Lake also has one of Wisconsin’s last remaining ancient wild rice beds. Check out the blackjack tables at the casino, and stay overnight to explore the reservation.
Tip: Don’t miss the Dinesen-Motzfeldt-Hettinger House, home to the father of author Isak Dinesen, who is best know for her memoir “Out of Africa.”
Wisconsin’s Oneida Nation calls 65,400 acres along Duck Creek home. This reservation offers some of the best opportunities to really understand and connect with Wisconsin’s indigenous population. The Oneida Nation Museum showcases current and past culture, making the connection between their worldviews and the world we know. The gift shop sells a variety of crafts from Native artists.
Tip: In addition to the museum and a casino, check out Oneida’s long-house village that replicates the tribe’s traditional homes from hundreds of years ago.
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
The Red Cliff Band’s modest reservation is located on 22 miles of Lake Superior shoreline at the tip of the Bayfield Peninsula. It’s a great stop for families headed to the Apostle Islands or the first tribal national park in the US, Frog Bay.
Tip: Not into camping? Red Cliff’s Legendary Waters Resort & Casino offers lodging close to Bayfield and all its attractions.
The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians established their home in Shawno County, Wisconsin in the 1700s. The small, 24,000-acre reservation contains the North Star Mohican Casino Resort as well as the Pine Hill Golf Club.
Tip: Stop by the Arvid E. Miller Library and Museum to explore the community’s history and culture.