Madeline Island (Moningwanakauning), Homeland of the Ojibwe, Michel Cadotte


Thursday, September 20: On our way to Madeline Island the former homeland of the Ojibwe Nation. We are going to tour many historic sites of the Ojibwe occupation and the accompanying fur trading post sites.


Crossing on the Ferry,

gna madeline museum.jpgThe Madeline Island Museum. Rabbett Strickland, is helping install some of his paintings. and also featured is Carl Gawboy, known as the "Ojibwe Norman Rockwell" amongst some artists, also featured as well as a couple of hundred Indian dolls from around the world. Coupled with the old history and narrative of sites and events in history our guests spend well over an hours checking artifacts, maps and touring the old building assocated with the museum. A newer modern building is now attached to the old stockaded portion of the museum.



gna buffalo grave marker.jpg

Chief Buffalo's Grave, and the old Chippewa cemetery and church. The resting site of Equaywaysay, or Madeline and many of the Chippewa who were Catholic and traditionals. One portion of the cemetery is still marked by the wooden spirit houses places there many years ago, but a short distance south from that site several Pine Trees mark the spot where Chief Buffalo, or his son is buried under a headstone and this site helped protect the greater region of about 2-3 acres that several developers have tried to build on. The site also now has several markers establishing the fact that there are burials here, and people have left an assortment of gifts over the last couple of years, in particular at the Buffalo site. While Native visitors tend to leave a pinch of tobbaco or some silver or copper coins, the gifts left today to mark the site include everything from lighters to gum, pens, necklaces, cloth, bouncy balls and other assorted strange things.

Michael Cadottes Madeline Island Trading Post.

The Old Methodist Church site and burial ground - This church site of the Reverend Wheeler is now Posted "No Trespassing" and many of the headstones are tipped over. "No trespassing" signs over the graves of my ancestors has never bothered me much because I figure, they bought the title and rights to keep people who don't have relatives buried there off, to make sure people like me can for-ever had access to the site of our ancestors. You see that written down in treaties narratives in which the Chiefs vigorously opposed removal from Wisconsin to the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota when they told negotiators, "We refuse to leave the graves of our people," and question what would happen to them if they did. I am sure the U.S. negotiators said something like, "As long the grass grows in a desert, and the rivers flow unpolluted," there would be no problem. This site a least does not have of the burials excavated and small and new memorial plaque to a Robert Moran sits near the edge of the road with a bench.

Michael Cadottes homestead, Grants Point, The Northwest Fur Trade office site, and the site of the old American Fur Trade Post,

The Bad River Chippewa's Madeline Island Reservation.

Finding a modern day artifact. Our guide Kenny Charette says Tom Vennum could tell us more about this artifact we pick up off the road, but as I backed up in the van to pick it up, our visitors who are trying to see what it is, miss a big buck crossing the road right in front of us, probably in rut. They all think the mushroom thing might not be done having its effect.

Visiting Author Tom Vennum and the Rat that got "nailed." We are moving right along on the Madeline Island tour because it has been drizzling most of the day and we end up going around the 21 miles of the Island in a couple of hours rather than most of the day. We saw author Tom Vennum a bit earlier going into a resturant so we decide to hunt down his homestead and we find him at home on the south side of the Island, not far from the Cadotte homestead site. Tom invites us in, but request that we each bring in a couple of pieces of firewood. Tom suffered a stroke a few years ago and has limited use of one of he arms so this is not a problem, and Kenny makes several trips while I throw another piece of wood on the fire. We are damp from the few times we did get out of the van.

Tom wants to talk a bit about his new book on LaCrosse game traditionally used by many tribes in order to resolve conflicts, an effort that he is very proud of and hopes help strengthens the growing interest in the game across the globe.

Watching the approaching storm.

Red Cliff Lanes, or Casino and Restaurant. It used to be a bowling alley, but, slot machines generate a bit more revenue over all. We decide to have a quick bite to eat and call it a night.