Maybe you’ve visited Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, hiked in Wyalusing State Park or rolled the dice at Ho-Chunk Casino. But did you know that each of these attractions (and many more!) have their roots in Wisconsin’s rich Native American history?
Native culture is woven into the fabric of our state: Wisconsin is home to eleven sovereign nations, each with their own distinct traditions and cultural heritage. From natural attractions to museums, businesses to events, tribal culture permeates the travel landscape in Wisconsin, and opportunities to engage with it have never been more abundant.
Want to learn more about Wisconsin’s Native culture, but not sure where to start? Check out this visual guide for an intro to each tribe, as well as highlights on Native experiences, shopping, casinos and more.
Tribes in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is home to the largest number of Native American tribes east of the Mississippi River. These are the 11 federally recognized tribes in Wisconsin:
- Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
- Ho-Chunk Nation
- Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
- Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
- Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin
- Oneida Nation
- Forest County Potawatomi
- Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
- St. Croix Chippewa
- Sokaogon Chippewa (Mole Lake)
Learn more about Wisconsin’s Native American tribes: Native American Tribes of Wisconsin
What to See & Do
Cultural Centers & Museums
Wisconsin’s tribes are committed to preserving their unique histories and traditions, and have established expansive museums and cultural centers to house their wealth of knowledge. Engaging displays, rare artifacts, immersive exhibits and full-scale replicas invite you to learn more about each tribe’s individual culture.
The reservations of the 11 sovereign nations occupy more than 332,000 acres of Wisconsin’s most beautiful and unique landscapes: Pristine lakes, rivers and streams, towering forests and ancient wild rice beds, each teaming with an abundance of wildlife. Thousands of effigy mounds cover the state, and Wisconsin is home to the nation’s first tribal national park, Frog Bay Tribal National Park, on the lands of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
Read more about effigy mounds and earthworks in Wisconsin:
Casinos & Golf Courses
Stay and play in so many different ways! Along with sharing their traditions, many Wisconsin tribes offer casino gambling and bingo throughout the state. You’ll find top-notch facilities coupled with beautiful restaurants, lounges, hotels and some great golf courses.
Read more about casinos in Wisconsin:
For a listing of more casinos in Wisconsin, check out our Casinos and Gaming directory.
Many tribes invite the public to attend their annual powwows, where tribal members meet to honor and celebrate their culture through music, dance, and traditional clothing and regalia. Powwows typically take place over the summer months, and feature traditional Native food as well as handmade art and crafts
Read more about these events and where to find them: Experience a Wisconsin Powwow
Businesses and Attractions
Tribal lands showcase so many diverse attractions and businesses, from orchards to fisheries to smoke shops. While casinos are a large part of Native American business in Wisconsin, there’s plenty more to discover: Native artists, craftsmen and small business owners sell their wares to the public both on and off of tribal lands all around the state.
Find everything from traditional beadwork and wood sculptures to coffee shops and even the first Native-American-owned distillery in the country.
Browse Native American businesses and attractions: view guide.