No history of Rusk County could be complete without including the first residents of this land, the Native Americans. This history was brought to life in 2019 when the Geodesic Dome was added to the buildings at the Museum. Anishinaabe is the Native American Exhibit Building, which houses an Authentic Ojibwe Wigwam built from natural materials. We watched as this project came to life, with many volunteers offering their time to collect materials and construct the Wigwam.
Under the direction of Native Elder Wayne Valliere from the Lac du Flambeau Band, seven hundred willow branches were harvested, cut to uniform size, and stripped of their bark, displaying an attractive white surface. Two holes were drilled into each branch and teams strung the willows together to create five-foot panels that formed the wall around the circumference of the maple frame. Twenty volunteers donated 203 hours to complete this task.
The collection inside also includes Native American painting on Fox Pelts, by a Lac Courte Oreilles artist, authentic Birch Bark Canoe, a display of Ojibwe Sacred Medicines, Agricultural Crops, and soon to be authenticated Archeological Artifacts.
Chief Dan Mosay, the Hereditary Chief of the St. Croix band of Ojibwe, his sister, Dora Ammann, Cultural Storyteller and Native Healing Practitioner, along with Dora’s daughter, Brook Amman, Director of the Waadookodaading Language Immersion School at LCO Reservation in Hayward, presented a program for all the 5th graders in Rusk County at the Ladysmith Elementary School Gym. They each spoke about their particular role and contribution to the Cultural life of the tribe.
Come and visit this step into another kind of world with us. Explore the wonder of living with and off the land…living the life of the Native Americans back before Rusk County was Rusk County.