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Oneida Nation

The Story of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin

The Oneida Nation of Wisconsin has history that goes back several centuries and a rich culture that still flourishes here in Northeastern Wisconsin.

There are so many ways to learn more about the tribe and experience their beautiful way of life first-hand.

History of the Oneida Tribe

The Oneida tribe was part of the original Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, which formed between 1570 and 1600 in the territory that is now New York. The Confederacy resided on millions of acres of land but between 1824 and 1846, the Oneida Nation was left with only about 32 acres from the emanate encroachment of settlers in the early 1820s.

Many decided to relocate to Wisconsin, where a reservation was established near Fort Howard in Green Bay. The Oneidas signed a treaty in 1821 for 6.7 million acres of land, which was reduced in 1831 to 500,000 and as a result of the Dawes Allotment Act further reduced to 65,000. Today, the population of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin is just over 17,000, and about half live on the reservation. The Oneidas have purchased back a couple of hundred acres to about 40% of the reservation.

The Oneidas have a culture rooted in an appreciation and devotion to nature, which you can still find evidence of everywhere. They make corn husk dolls out of the dried leaves or "husk" of a corn cob that you can purchase. You can also see the buffalo herd up close and in-person at the Oneida Buffalo Overlook.

Set aside some time while you’re visiting Green Bay to learn more about the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and explore the attractions that enrich our area!

Explore the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin

There are so many things to see and do on the Oneida Reservation. For example, if you love golf, you will definitely want to reserve a tee time at Thornberry Creek at Oneida. They offer 27 holes of championship golf for all ages and abilities, plus a driving range and a fantastic on-site restaurant (try the bison burger, which comes from local Oneida farms).

If you’re a fan of history, set aside a few hours to go through the exhibits at the Oneida Nation Museum. You can see original Iroquois artwork, learn the creation story, and find out more about lacrosse and the Oneida community! Then, about 10 minutes away from the museum, you will find the Amelia Cornelius Culture Park, where you can see a replica of a traditional Oneida Long House and 100+ year old reconstructed log homes. Schedule a tour and learn how the Oneidas lived all the way back in the 1600s.

Oneida garden and Long House

Whether you’re a Packers fan or not, a trip to Titletown must include a visit to the Oneida Nation Walk of Legends. The Walk of Legends is a collection of 24 statues situated on a mile-long route just east of Lambeau Field. The statues tell the entire story of the team, as well as the history, practices, and customs of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.

Next, why not try your luck at the Oneida Bingo and Casino? They have hundreds of slot machines, from penny games all the way up to high roller slots! If cards are more your thing, the Main-Airport location has lots of poker and table games to keep you busy. Keep in mind: you must be 21 to play the slots, table games, or participate in off-track betting, but anyone 18 and older can play bingo at the Irene Moore Activity Center location.

All that playing can work up an appetite, so you might want to make a pit stop at the Oneida Farmers Market, which runs every Thursday from June through October. If you’re visiting in the fall, the Oneida Apple Orchard is another must-visit destination. You can buy or pick your own apples (they have dozens of different varieties) and of course, grab a half-gallon of fresh apple cider. They also offer other produce like asparagus, blueberries, sweet corn, and more, depending on the weather and time of year.

Annual Events

If you’re visiting in the summer, you’ll definitely want to check to see if you’ll be here when the 4th of July Pow Wow is happening. It’s one of the Midwest's largest pow wows, and it is such a joy to watch participants from around the country compete in various song and dance competitions. Bring a blanket to sit on and enjoy the show!

Big Apple Fest is another fun event that locals and tourists look forward to on the third Saturday of every September. At the festival, you can pick your own apples, listen to live music, tour the Oneida Long House, take a horse and wagon ride, and so much more!

As you can see, there is so much to see and do when it comes to the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. You could plan an entire itinerary centered just around the history and culture of the tribe! We hope you visit some of the places mentioned above the next time you find yourself in Greater Green Bay!

Sources:

Oneida Nation of Wisconsin Report. (2010, November). Oneida Nation of Wisconsin Report. http://witribes.wi.gov/docview.asp?docid=5637&locid=57

Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. (n.d.). Oneida Nation. Retrieved July 17, 2021, from https://oneida-nsn.gov/

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