Visitors interested in Vilas County’s Native American culture and history will discover many places to explore in the community of Lac du Flambeau. Here’s a look at some of the things you shouldn’t miss on your next visit to northern Wisconsin.
The Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians has inhabited the Lac du Flambeau area in southwestern Vilas County since 1745. The name of this community comes from the Band’s historical practice of harvesting fish by torchlight—the French traders and trappers who visited the area named the region “Lake of the Torches” (or “Lac du Flambeau” in French).
What to see
The George W. Brown Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center is home to unique exhibits that share the story of the Ojibwe culture in the Northwoods. Learn about how the Ojibwe traditionally harvested wild rice, fish and game. See traditional clothing, Ojibwe arts and crafts and a 24-foot Ojibwe dugout canoe. Visit the center’s website to find more information about events, programs and seasonal hours.
A Northwoods tradition since the 1950s, pow wows are held weekly throughout the summer at the Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl Living Arts & Culture Center. See authentic Ojibwe dancing and enjoy traditional music—and don’t miss the homemade fry bread sold on site. Check the Indian Bowl’s website for more information.
Common Ojibwe words and phrases
Here are some common Ojibwe words and phrases to help boost your vocabulary.
- Hello = boozhoo
- How are you? = aaniin ezhi ayaayan?
- Lake = zaagai’igan
- Sun = giizis
- Northern lights = waasanoode
- Deer = waawaashkeshii
- Blueberry pie = Miin-aan baash kimini-sij-i-gan bitooyin sij-i-gan-i bukwayszhiigan
(Source: Lac du Flambeau Chamber)