Menominee Indian Reservation

The Menominee Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation located in northeastern Wisconsin held in trust by the United States for the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin. For the most part it is conterminous with Menominee County, Wisconsin and the town of Menominee. It is known in the Menominee language as Omāēqnomenēw-Otāēskonenan, "Menominee Thing Set Apart".[3]

Menominee Indian Reservation
Tribal office
Location in Wisconsin
Location in Wisconsin
TribeMenominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
CountryUnited States
 • BodyMenominee Legislature
 • ChairmanDouglas Cox
 • Vice-ChairmanJoan Delabreau
 • SecretaryPershing Frechette
 • Land353.894 sq mi (916.58 km2)
 • Total3,559

It has numerous small pockets of territory that are not considered to be part of the reservation. These pockets amount to 1.14 percent of the county's area; the reservation takes up about 98.86 percent of the county's area. The largest of these pockets is in the western part of the community of Keshena. A section of the reservation is located in the town of Red Springs, in Shawano County, Wisconsin.[4] The reservation has a plot of off-reservation trust land of 10.22 acres (4.14 ha) in Winnebago County to the south, west of the city of Oshkosh. The reservation's total land area is 353.894 square miles (916.58 km2), while Menominee County's land area is 357.960 square miles (927.11 km2).

The non-reservation parts of the county are more densely populated than the reservation, with 1,337 (29.3%) of the county's 4,562 total population, as opposed to the reservation's 3,225 (70.7%) population in the 2000 census.[5] (The plot of land in Winnebago County is unpopulated.) The most populous communities are Legend Lake and Keshena. The Menominee operate a number of gambling facilities.



The Menominee founded the College of the Menominee Nation, a tribal college, in 1993. It was accredited in 1998. The main campus is in Keshena.


Both English as well as the Menominee language, part of the Algonquian language family, are used.[6]



The Menominee Indian Reservation contains a large forest that has been managed by the Menominee Tribe for over 150 years.[7] About 15 million board feet are harvested by the forest every year. This forestry work has been recognized by the United Nations.[8] Wood from the forest has gone to such places as the Milwaukee Bucks arena, Fiserv Forum.[9] The types of trees harvested at the Menominee Indian Reservation include white ash, bigtooth aspen, quaking aspen, basswood, beech, eastern hemlock, eastern white pine, hard maple, pin oak, red oak, red pine, soft maple, and yellow birch.[10]


An amendment to the 2014 Farm Bill authorized cultivation of industrial hemp. In addition, some states have authorized sale of medical cannabis, or marijuana.

In August 2015 the Menominee Indian Reservation held a vote on proposed measures to legalize medical and/or recreational cannabis. The Menonimee have the only American Indian reservation which falls only under federal law, rather than under the Wisconsin law Public Law 280. They are sovereign on their reservation. [11]

In October 2015, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents raided the reservation, taking or destroying 30,000 plants. The Menominee said these were industrial hemp plants, the cultivation of which was authorized by federal law.[12] The DEA contends it was marijuana.[13]


  1. ^ "Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Legislature". Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  2. ^ 2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. "My Tribal Area". United States Census Bureau.
  3. ^ Hoffman, Mike. "Menominee Place Names in Wisconsin". The Menominee Clans Story. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  4. ^ Shawano County map. Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
  5. ^ Menominee Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land, Wisconsin United States Census Bureau
  6. ^ Menominee Language and the Menominee Indian Tribe (Menomini, Mamaceqtaw)
  7. ^ "Menominee Tribal Enterprises: Forestry". Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  8. ^ Johnson, Christopher and Barbara. "Menominee Forest Keepers". Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  9. ^ Kirchen, Rich. "Preview the floors of the new Milwaukee Bucks arena as local firm awaits a name to paint on them". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  10. ^ "Menominee Tribal Enterprises: Our Forest". Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  11. ^ Spivak, Cary (2015-08-16). "Menominee tribe prepares for vote on legalizing marijuana". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2015-08-20.
  12. ^ Staff, "Agents seize marijuana plants on Menominee tribal land", Journal Sentinel staff, 23 October 2015
  13. ^ Steven Nelson,, "DEA Raid on Tribe's Cannabis Crop Infuriates and Confuses Reformers", US News and World Report, 26 October 2015, accessed 21 December 2015

External linksEdit

45°00′19″N 88°42′41″W / 45.00528°N 88.71139°W / 45.00528; -88.71139Coordinates: 45°00′19″N 88°42′41″W / 45.00528°N 88.71139°W / 45.00528; -88.71139