Lac du Flambeau

Wisconsin fell to last place in a national ranking of start-up businesses last month. Today one group aiming to change that met in Minocqua. The Wisconsin Technology Council draws people from medical, tech, and educational fields around the state to share ideas and promote innovation.

Native American Tourism of Wisconsin is harnessing the power of television to tell the stories of Wisconsin’s 11 unique tribes. Work is underway on a pilot episode of what could become a Native Wisconsin television show. Fundraising for that show will begin in the fall, with hopes of finding a home next summer. In the mean time, NATOW executive director Ernie Stevens III says they’re using a Native Wisconsin Youtube channel to offer a foretaste of that show.

Lac du Flambeau Finalist for Culture of Health Award

Jun 10, 2015

The Lac du Flambeau Tribe and Public School are one step closer in their application for the a national $25,000 award. The tribe is one of 15 finalists in the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Award. Representatives from the foundation came for a site visit last week, where they toured and talked with people from the community.

Plans for a new arts center and powwow venue in Lac du Flambeau are moving forward.


The Waaswaaganing Living Arts and Culture Center has hired an architecture firm to finalize designs for the new Indian Bowl performance area.  


As Project Director Tom Gallaher explains, the old Indian Bowl was an amphitheater that had to be torn down last year due to structural problems.  


Lac du Flambeau is recruiting foster families on the reservation and other parts of Vilas County.

Family Services Manager Kristin Allen supervises the tribe’s foster care licensing program.

She says the program is especially in need of families to provide short-term respite homes. 

 “And respite homes are families that are willing to provide a weekend or evening for some of our foster homes – so that if they want a night out or a weekend for a family getaway, things like that – that they would be allowed that time alone.”

Oregon Department of Transportation

Wisconsin’s Chippewa say they’re confident that an appeals court ruling last week will open the door to safe and responsible night hunting in ceded territory. 

The Wisconsin DNR hasn’t allowed deer hunting at night outside of reservation boundaries, and a federal judge has twice upheld the restriction out of concern for public safety.  But last week an appeals court in Chicago ruled the opposite and sent the case back to U.S. District Court, saying the state hasn’t provided proof that night hunting is dangerous. 

Lac du Flambeau will elect a new tribal President Tuesday. 

The two candidates for the position that got the most votes in the primary are Joseph G. Wildcat, Sr. and Henry “Butch” St. Germaine, Sr. 

Current President Tom Maulson did not make it past the primary. 

Candidates for vice president that will appear on the ballot are Mike Allen, Sr. and Melissa Christensen. 

There are also several council member seats open, and eight candidates who will appear on the ballot. 

Natalie Jablonski

Lac du Flambeau held a dedication ceremony for a remodeled historic building today…that remains part of a tragic legacy of federally-run boarding schools.  The Boys Dormitory will now house historic and cultural preservation offices.

The Boys Dormitory building dates back to the boarding school era around the early 1900s, when the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs forced Native American children to go to schools far away from their families.  They weren’t allowed to speak their native language, maintain their cultural identity or even keep their given names.   

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Lac du Flambeau broke ground on a new treatment center for substance abuse and mental illness today.  The tribe will be the first in Wisconsin to build this kind of facility. 

Community members, state officials and tribal leaders braved the day’s chill for a ground breaking ceremony on the shores of Lake Pokegama. 

“We’re celebrating the ground-breaking of a new treatment center, with the expectations that it will be build sometime between now and spring.  This will allow 20 beds, with potential expansion of 20 additional beds at some point in time.” 

Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs

Lac du Flambeau is holding a festival celebrating wild rice…and the historic Indian Bowl.

The Wild Rice Festival is held every year during the rice harvesting season, which usually spans late August to early September. 

As Lac du Flambeau spokesperson Brandon Thoms explains, wild rice has been an important part of Ojibwe culture since the tribes first migrated to the area.  A prophecy had foretold that the people should settle in a place where the food grows on the water.

At least one tribal leader is optimistic after the recent meetings between Midwest tribes and the EPA this week.

Lac du Flambeau Spokesperson Brandon Thoms says according to tribal President Maulson, the discussions were positive. 

“It showed that there’s definitely a willingness between the EPA to work with the tribes, and President Maulson indicated that the tribes are understood that they have a vested interest.” 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Lac du Flambeau hopes to provide more support for families and kids in its foster care system.  The state of Wisconsin has signed an agreement allowing the tribe to access a new stream of federal funding. 

The Title IV-E program is the federal government’s foster care program. 

Until recently, funds from that program have gone to the state of Wisconsin and its counties, but have never been funneled to the tribes.  That’s changing, now that officials have signed an agreement allowing that money to flow directly to the tribe’s foster care administration. 


A study shows most patrons of Lac du Flambeau’s casino don’t smoke, and would visit more often if the casino was nonsmoking.  Lake of the Torches Casino partnered with the Great Lakes Intertribal Council to survey almost a thousand gamblers.

Great Lakes Intertribal Council Epidemiologist Isaiah Brokenleg says it’s the first time a casino has cooperated with a public health entity to do a study on smoking preferences.  He explains that partnership gave researchers access to the patron database. 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Kids in Lac du Flambeau are working on a mural project this summer. The public art will be displayed on the side of the George W. Brown Ojibwe Cultural Museum.

About twenty five kids have spent the past month helping out on the mural project, which won a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Greg Johnson is one of the project leaders.  He says he worked with the kids to design the mural. 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Lac du Flambeau celebrated the tribe’s purchase of the historic Strawberry Island Thursday.  The land was privately held for over a hundred years.

About a hundred people gathered on Sand Beach across from the island that gets its name from its strawberry-like shape.  It’s the site of an important battle between the Ojibwe and the Sioux peoples.  Lac du Flambeau Chairman Tom Maulson says it’s also spiritually important.