The Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin people are one band of the large Ojibwe Nation that originally occupied the upper eastern woodlands area of the North American continent.
Official Tribal Name: Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
Address: 13394 West Trepania Road, Hayward, WI 54843
Recognition Status: Federally Recognized
Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning: Anishinaabe– Original People.
Today the Anishinaabe have two tribes: Ojibway/Ojibwe/Chippewa (Algonquian Indian for “puckered,” referring to their moccasin style) and Algonquin (probably a French corruption of either the Maliseet word elehgumoqik, “our allies,” or the Mi’kmaq place name Algoomaking, “fish-spearing place).
Common Name / Meaning of Common Name:
Alternate names / Alternate spellings / Mispellings: Chipewa, Chipawa, Anishinaabe, Anishinababe, Anishinabeg, Ojibway, Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa, Algonquin, More names for Ojibwe
Ojibwe / Chippewa in other languages:
Aoechisaeronon or Eskiaeronnon (Huron)
Bawichtigouek or Paouichtigouin (French)
Jumper, Kutaki (Fox)
Leaper, Neayaog (Cree)
Rabbit People (Plains Cree)
Regatci or Negatce (Winnebago)
Sore Face (Hunkpapa Lakota)
State(s) Today: Wisconsin
The Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin historically occupied a vast territory within a 100 mile radius of the present location of the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation located near Hayward, WI. The Lac Courte Oreilles people are one band of the large Ojibwe Nation that originally occupied the upper eastern woodlands area of the North American continent.
In the years of 1825, 1837, and 1842, many bands of the Ojibwe Nation entered into sovereign treaties with the United States. In the treaties, the Ojibwe Nation ceded territories of land, which became a part of the United States and reserved unto themselves rights to use the land and its resources.
In 1854, the Treaty of LaPointe established specific territorial rights of the Lac Courte Oreilles people including the right to hunt, fish, and gather in the northern third of Wisconsin. It also established the reservation.
The off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights of the Ojibwe people were recognized in 1983 after years of litigation in Lac Courte Oreilles v. Voigt, 700 F.2d 341 (7th Cir. 1983). In addition to Wisconsin, off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights were subsequently established in the State of Minnesota in a similar treaty rights case involving a Minnesota tribe.
Reservation: Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land
At the time the reservation was established, the tribal elders wanted to protect certain resources that included wild rice beds and fishing areas on the Grindstone, Chief, and Lac Courte Oreilles Lakes. The land was also rich in timber stands of oak, conifer, maple, hickory, cedar, and birch. There were bountiful fishing sites on the Chippewa, Chief, and Couderay rivers as well as hunting and trapping areas for waterfowl, deer, bear, beaver, mink, muskrat, and other game. The Tribe also used historical water transportation routes via the Chippewa, Flambeau, and Namekagon rivers.
Although the tribe already had a traditional government that provided safety and welfare to its people, after years of resistance, the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe adopted an Indian Reorganization Act Constitution in 1966.
Tribal Headquarters: Hayward, WI
Time Zone: Central
Population at Contact:
Registered Population Today: About 7,275 enrolled members.
Tribal Enrollment Requirements:
Charter: Although the tribe already had a traditional government that provided safety and welfare to its people, after years of resistance, the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe adopted an Indian Reorganization Act Constitution in 1966.
Name of Governing Body: Tribal Governing Board
Number of Council members: 7, including executive officers
Dates of Constitutional amendments:
Number of Executive Officers: Chairperson, Vice-chairperson, Secretary/treasurer
Elections: Elections are held in June every two years (every odd numbered year) for a four-year term. Terms are staggered
Language Classification: Ojibwe
Language Dialects: Ojibwemowin
Number of fluent Speakers:
The Waadookodaading – Ojibwe Language Immersion Charter School teaches all core subjects in the Ojibwemowin (Ojibwe language). Currently 28 students attend this school from Pre-k through 5th grade.
Bands, Gens, and Clans
Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Chippewa-Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Michigan
Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Forest County Potawatomi
Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
Hannaville Indian Community
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
Lac de Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
Saginaw Chippewa Indians
Sokaogon Chippewa Community
St. Croix Chippewa Indians
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
Ceremonies / Dances:
Modern Day Events & Tourism:
Legends / Oral Stories:
Art & Crafts:
Economy Today: This tribe owns or leases a number of businesses. They have two casinos: LCO Casino, Lodge, and Convention Center and Grindstone Creek Casino. They also operate The Landing (a full family resort with a restaurant, bar and cabins for rent). They have four convenience stores: LCO Commercial Center (Grocery/Cigarettes/Liquor Store), LCO Quick Stop (Gasoline/light grocery), LCO Convenience Store (Gasoline/car wash/light grocery/liquor), and LCO C-2 Spur Station (Gasoline/Light Grocery). They also own LCO Cranberry Marsh, LCO Development Corporation (Construction/infrastructure/trucking), LCO Smoke Shop, LCO Federal Credit Union, WOJB-FM community radio station, Hydro Facility (Electric Plant), Chippewa Wood Crafters (rustic handmade furniture), Pineview Funeral Services, LCO Fireworks Station, LCO Transit, and the tribe leases Lynk’s Café and Morrow’s Native Art.
Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:
Tribal College: Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College serves higher education needs in Northern Wisconsin, with an enrollment of 550 students from five reservations – the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College Campus, and four outreach sites on the Red Cliff Reservation, Bad River Reservation, St. Croix Reservation, and Lac du Flambeau Reservation.
Radio: WOJB-FM Radio Station in Hayward, WI
Sandy Lake Tragedy – The Sandy Lake Tragedy was the culmination of a series of events centered in Sandy Lake, Minnesota, that resulted in the deaths in 1850 of about 400 Lake Superior Chippewa when officials of the Zachary Taylor Administration and Minnesota Territory tried to relocate several bands of the tribe to areas west of the Mississippi River.
In the News: