Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Forest, Kay

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology


Ojibwa Indians--Wisconsin--Social life and customs; Indians of North America--Wisconsin--Social life and customs; Ojibwa Indians--Wisconsin--History; Indians of North America--Wisconsin--History; Indian reservations--Wisconsin; Lac du Flambeau Reservation (Wis.)


This thesis focuses on the uniqueness of Lac du Flambeau, a Native American reservation located in northern Wisconsin. Interviews, participant observation, and secondary sources were utilized to examine three aspects of Lac du Flambeau?s distinctiveness: historical background, economic stability, and cultural preservation. To demonstrate this distinctiveness, a general background of information regarding other Native American reservations was used as a point of comparison. The objectives of this study were: (1) to describe Lac du Flambeau?s uniqueness in terms of historical background, economic stability, and cultural preservation; (2) to describe how Lac du Flambeau differs from other reservations in these three respects; and (3) to explain why the Lac du Flambeau reservation is unique in these three aspects and to detail the implications. Lac du Flambeau?s historical uniqueness is revealed as the Ojibwa?s initial encounters with Europeans differed dramatically from what most First Nations experienced. Also, Lac du Flambeau?s responses to federal legislation and policies over time differ from the reactions seen on other reservations. Economic uniqueness at Lac du Flambeau exists as the reservation is in a state of economic stability, whereas many other reservations are struggling economically. Lac du Flambeau also exhibits cultural uniqueness through a tremendous cultural preservation and revitalization effort occurring on the reservation today. This current cultural climate at Lac du Flambeau is unique because some reservations today are faced with traditional cultural decline. Recommendations and implications of this research include support of tribal sovereignty and self-determination rights. Lac du Flambeau is an example of the positive impacts these rights can have on Native American communities. Lac du Flambeau has exercised these rights and has therefore had more control over its own destiny. Most importantly, through these rights the Ojibwa have tremendously improved the economic and cultural conditions on the reservation today.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [91]-94).


vi, 120 pages




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