Published on May 19, 2014 by Amy
A visit to the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians Reservation in Northwestern Wisconsin is an exciting and enlightening experience for young and old. More than 95% of the reservation’s 124,234 acres remain undeveloped and wild. It is located along Wisconsin’s northern most coast of Lake Superior – the largest freshwater lake in the world.
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Bad River Chippewa have been living in this area for thousands of years, although the present Bad River Reservation was established by a treaty in 1854 with the United States Government. Odanah, the Chippewa word for “town,” has been the cultural center for generations. It is located five miles east of Ashland on U.S. Highway 2. Some newer settlements have grown, but governmental and social activities remain in this area.
The Kakagon and Bad River sloughs, 16,000 acres of high-quality Lake Superior wetlands, have been called Wisconsin’s Everglades. It is from these sloughs that past generations of Chippewa have been able to sustain life through the harvesting of wild rice. This is done during the month of August and is followed by the manoomin (Wild Rice) Fest and Pow-wow, and the Harvest Pow-wow, true celebrations of culture.
The Bad River Chippewa operate a fish hatchery, annually stocking more than 15 million walleye into reservation rivers and other area lakes and streams. Important note! It is necessary to secure tribal permission to hike or explore tribal lands or to navigate tribal waters. For information, call the tribal office at the number given below.
Visitors to the reservation enjoy the Bad River Lodge and Casino facilities. The casino recreation complex offers line dancing, the music of local bands, karaoke, restaurants serving ethnic foods, plus gift and souvenir shops featuring genuine Indian crafts. The new Lodge houses 50 beautiful rooms and jacuzzi suites, along with a swimming pool and hot tub.
Area events include the Chequamegon Fat Trie Race, Red Clay Classics, Bayfield Apple Festival, Ashland Snowmobile Races, Northland Folk Fest, Bay Days, Winterfest, and the Muskie Festival, to name just a few.
The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council provides services to Native Americans in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota.