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Lac du Flambeau (Waswagoning/Spearing by Torchlight)

2007: The tour groups spends the day with driver Jeff St. Germaine, and with Nick Hockings in the morning walking in the woods at the Waswaganing Village and touring the traditionally made Ojibwe site created for the purpose of educational and cultural outreach. The tour members are fascinated by the vast amount of information they learn about foods and medicines during the three hour tour that probably could well have lasted longer but for scheduling.


WA-SWA-GONING: "the place where they spear fish by torchlight." This was the name given by the Ojibwe to this beautiful area in northern Wisconsin. Later, the French trappers would call it Lac du Flambeau, which it is still called today. The English version is "Lake of the Torches".

Pontoon Boat Ride, Getting a bit debriefed from those on the ride, my understanding is they rode the waters of the Lac du Flambeau going around the infamous Strawberry Island and several waterways. This site of a battle between the Dakota and Ojibwe was almost sub-divided into sub lots for building sites a little bit more than a decade ago, but protests from the tribe and many others led to a withdraw of the permits allowing it. I have to find out where the situation is, and whether it is over for now, or ever.

From the waters our visitors were able to see the outlay of the reservation, and maybe envision one of the largest battle for this region from on the water.

Tom Vennum reminds me later in the trip that one of the longest standing allies of many of the Dakota Sioux in the region, were the Fox Nation, some of who eventually ended up at the Sac & Fox (Mesquaki) reservation of Tama, Iowa in the late 1800s. By then their numbers had shrunk to a tiny number compared to the 1700's.