Wisconsin Indian Tribes

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The following tribes at one time are recorded in history as having resided within the present state of Wisconsin. If the tribe name is in bold, then Wisconsin is the primary location known for this tribe, otherwise we provide the tribes specifics as it pertains to Wisconsin and then provide a link to the main tribal page.

  • Chippewa Indians. This tribe pushed its way west in the latter part of the seventeenth century as far as the territory lying within the present State of Wisconsin, and the trading post established by the French at La Pointe became an important Chippewa base. Early in the eighteenth century they are said to have driven the Foxes out of northern Wisconsin, and they have continued to occupy that part of the State until the present time, having two reservations there.
  • Dakota Indians. In very early times the Dakota occupied a little of the northwestern margin of Wisconsin.
  • Fox Indians
  • Housatonic Indians, see Stockbridge Indians.
  • Illinois Indians. At one time Illinois Indians probably occupied some of the southern and southwestern sections of Wisconsin. (See Illinois.)
  • Iowa Indians. A rather pronounced tradition points to the Winnebago as the mother tribe of the Iowa, Oto, and Missouri, and the latter are supposed to have stopped at certain places within the State of Wisconsin during their migration to the southwest. (See Iowa.)
  • Iroquois Indians. The Iroquois anciently played an important part in the aboriginal history of the Indian tribes of Wisconsin, usually as enemies. In very late times the Oneida were given a reservation here where their descendants still live. (See New York.)
  • Kickapoo  Indians
  • Mahican Indians, see Stockbridge Indians.
  • Mascouten Indians. A name applied at times to the Prairie band of the Potawatomi, but more often to the Peoria band of Illinois who, in early days, lived with or near the Kickapoo.
  • Menominee  Indians
  • Miami Indians. This tribe, or at least portions of it, lived in southern Wisconsin when it was first known to French explorers and missionaries but later it moved south entirely out of the State. (See Indiana.)
  • Missouri Indians. (See Iowa.)
  • Munsee Indians. Some Munsee moved into Wisconsin with the Stockbridges.
  • Noquet Indians. This tribe may have been related to the Menominee or Chippewa. At times it probably overlapped the northeastern border of Wisconsin. (See Michigan.)
  • Oneida Indians, see Iroquois Indians.
  • Oto Indians. (See Iowa.)
  • Ottawa Indians. Some Ottawa lived in Wisconsin temporarily after they had been driven from their old homes by the Iroquois. They part settled first on the islands at the mouth of Green Bay, a a Bay of them lived later upon Black River and at Chequnegon Bay before returning to their old country. (See Michigan.)
  • Potawatomi Indians. When first encountered by the French the Potawatomi were on the islands at the mouth of Green Bay. Later they pushed down the coast of Lake Michigan to Milwaukee River and thence to Chicago after which they drew further south into Illinois, Indiana, and southern Michigan. (See Michigan.)
  • Sauk Indians
  • Stockbridge  Indians. This name was given to a body of Indians most of whom belonged to the Housatonic and other tribes of the Mahican group, who in 1833 were placed upon a reserve in the neighborhood of Green Bay, along with the Oneida Indians and some Munsee. In 1856 all but a few who desired to become citizens removed to a reservation west of Shawano, Shawano County, Wis., where they still live. (See New York.)
  • Tionontati Indians. Remnants of this tribe were in Wisconsin as part of the Wyandot.
  • Winnebago Indians
  • Wyandot Indians. After being driven out of Ontario by the Iroquois, part of the Wyandot, along with some Ottawa, went to Michilimackinac and from there to Green Bay, after which they lived successively at several different points within the boundaries of the present State of Wisconsin until they finally removed to Detroit. (See Ohio.)


MLA Source Citation:

Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 20 January 2015. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/wisconsin-indian-tribes.htm - Last updated on Jun 16th, 2012

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