Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Completing the square: Buying land at corners of historical territory, Sokaogon Chippewa hope to convince Congress of 19th century treaty mistakeSubmitted: 07/24/2018
Story By Ben Meyer

Completing the square: Buying land at corners of historical territory, Sokaogon Chippewa hope to convince Congress of 19th century treaty mistake
MOLE LAKE - At a glance, the acre is a simple swath of land in the woods near Pelican Lake.

But to Jimmy Landru Jr.'s eyes, it's a cornerstone of his tribe.

"It brings a lot of emotions to me, because this is my home," Landru, a member of the Sokaogon Chippewa Community, said last week.

The tribe bought the acre of land and erected a historical marker this year on the site.


In documents passed down through his wife's family, Landru learned the historical range of the Sokaogon once covered about 20 square miles in today's Oneida, Forest, and Langlade counties. It traced a rough square with Pelican Lake, Summit Lake, Pickerel Lake, and Lake Metonga on its corners.

Landru is leading the effort to buy pieces of land on the corners of that square and put up historical markers. The one on Pelican Lake is the first.

"When I got these documents, it put a fire under me to try to find it," Landru said.

The documents, now turning yellow, were written by former Chief Willard Ackley. They suggest the tribe, in a 1854 treaty with the United States, was promised a reservation of at least 12 square miles within that 20-square-mile box.

Instead, they got no land at all.

"They wanted to conveniently cheat us out of our land," Landru said.

Some treaty documents were lost, and the Sokaogon Chippewa was landless for more than 80 years. For that reason, some people still know them as the "Lost Tribe."

The federal government finally bought about 1,700 acres for the tribe in the 1930s.

"We can talk for ourselves. We can understand for ourselves. We know we were cheated out of our land," Landru said. "We will find evidence someday to prove that [the original territory] was mapped out."

Landru has help to find that evidence.

"It's not the proper way to treat another nation," former tribal chair Charles McGeshick said of what the United States did to the tribe.

McGeshick is Landru's uncle. Along with the tribe's elder advisory committee, he's been fighting for what he thinks is right.

The tribe hopes to someday convince Congress of the federal government's 19th century mistake. It wants compensation for the thousands of acres it feels cheated out of.

"I'm pretty sure that we will win. In fact, I'm confident that we will when. It's just when," said McGeshick. "I hope they don't lose [the will to fight], the youth don't lose it. I know I haven't lost it--I'm just getting older, that's all."

Landru's willing to be patient. But in the meantime, he'll keep working hard.

"We've just got to continue to keep our heads down and working hard, and eventually, we will find the evidence that we need," Landru said. "It might not be in my generation, but who knows?"

The Sokaogon Chippewa Community now owns pieces of land on Pelican Lake and Summit Lake.

It's looking to buy land, or get land donations, near Lake Metonga and Pickerel Lake to complete the corners of its historical range.


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

LA CROSSE - The Diocese of La Crosse has released the names of 25 clergy men with substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse made against them.

At least 16 of the men on the list face multiple allegations of child sex abuse.

Of the 25 men on the list, 18 have died. All of the men have been taken out of public ministry.

The list did not specify when or where the alleged abuse took place.

Eight of the men on the list have worked in Eau Claire including Bruce Ball (Immaculate Conception-Regis High School), Thomas Dempsey (Sacred Heart of Jesus-Sacred Heart Hospital), James Ennis (Sacred Heart of Jesus), James Finucan (St. James the Greater), James E. Mason (Immaculate Conception-Regis High School, Newman Center-Regis High School), James Stauber (St. Patrick Jr. High School-Regis High School), Raymond J. Wagner (St. Patrick) and Daniel Budzynski (Newman Parish).

Seven of the men have worked in Chippewa Falls including Eugene Comiskey (Holy Ghost), Thomas Dempsey (Northern Colony and Training School), Richard Herrmann (St. Charles Borromeo-McDonnel High School), William Hertzenberg (Notre Dame), James E. Mason (McDonnel High School), Albert Sonnberger (Notre Dame, St. Charles Borromeo) and Francis Zimmerer (St. Joseph's Hospital).

+ Read More

IRON COUNTY - One person died in a snowmobiling incident in Iron County early Sunday morning. The victim was identified as a 47-year-old female.

According to a press release by the Iron County Sheriff's Department, dispatch received a call at 1:52 a.m. reporting a snowmobile crashed on Trail 17 just outside Hurley and the operator was unresponsive.

First responders arrived at 2:04 a.m. and began taking life saving measures. The driver was then transported by rescue sled to Beacon ambulance and then to Aspirus GVH in Ironwood, MI.

After continued life-saving measures, the 47-year-old female was pronounced dead at Aspirus Hospital.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

+ Read More

OSHKOSH, WIS. (AP) - A Wisconsin teenager who was shot and wounded when he stabbed a school resource officer has been ordered to stand trial.

Grant Fuhrman, 17, is charged as an adult with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the Dec. 3 attack at Oshkosh West High School.

Fuhrman is accused of stabbing Mike Wissink multiple times with a barbecue fork. Court documents say the officer was unable to reach his stun gun so he shot Fuhrman twice. Neither was seriously injured.

The school was evacuated and classes were cancelled for two days.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Professional snowmobilers took to the racetrack in Eagle River this weekend. However, they weren't the only ones riding on some top-of-the line sleds.

Arctic Cat was at the derby offering demo rides on their 2021 models. People got a chance to try out the different machines, and put money down on a model of their choice.

Sales director Joe Klosterman said it's important for people to try before they buy.

"We do it to give an experience to the consumer," said Klosterman. "You wouldn't buy a car without driving it. We've also got a new model this year that I think is going to bring a lot of new people into the industry." 

Demo workers took guests out on a 10-mile loop to experience some of the best trails in the Northwoods. Those trails featured curbs, some fresh powder, and lots of bumps to test the machines' suspension.

Klosterman said Arctic Cat sold lots of sleds over the weekend thanks to the promotion.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - High school and middle school cross country skiers spent the weekend competing in Rhinelander for the annual Ascension Northwoods Nordic Hodag Challenge.

The two-day event attracted teams from more than 10 different schools across Wisconsin, and some schools from Michigan.

Head Coach for Rhinelander Nordic Charil Reis said her team spent a lot of time hitting the trails thanks to the generosity of mother nature. 

"We've been blessed with a lot of snow this year, so we haven't had to do a lot of indoor type of practice," said Reis.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The League of Women Voters of the Northwoods held a session on how to vote in Wisconsin at ArtStart earlier this evening.

They highlighted the voting process including what forms of ID are required.

Co-chair of the group, Debra Durchslag said she was happy after Sunday's turnout.

"I was very pleased to see a new group of interested Oneida county residents who are very much interested to register unregistered voters," said Durchslag

The League is a non-partisan organization devoted to educating the public about local and national politics.

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Sunday he wants state lawmakers to pass a package of bills aimed at curbing youth vaping and educating the public about vaping's potential dangers.

The bills Evers, a Democrat, is requesting would ban vaping and vapor products on K-12 campuses and expand the definition of public health emergencies. Another bill would fund a public health campaign to address youth vaping in the state and a fourth proposal would expand the enforcement capacity of the Departments of Revenue and Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection to prevent vaping products from being sold to minors.

The governor's office outlined his proposals in a press release Sunday.

"As a parent, grandparent, and lifelong educator, I am deeply concerned about the health and well-being of our kids," Evers said in a statement. "Vaping is a serious public health epidemic and it is time to take action."

The governor's office said vaping products pose serious health risks to young users because the nicotine contained in e-cigarettes can harm parts of the brain that control attention and learning.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: