Posted on behalf of Eric Bomberg, 3rd year MedPeds Resident
Yesterday, I had a tour of the Menominee Reservation. The reservation is beautiful and is covered with trees. There is a powwow site and twice a year they have 3 day powwow events where the Menominee come from all over the country to attend. The Menominee people used to own over 9,000,000 acres covering much of the state of Wisconsin, from up here all the way down to Milwaukee. Due to repeated treaties, the land size has been cut down to around 265,000 acres. Each time a treaty was signed, they were given a smaller area of land in exchange for such supplies as food and money. However, with each newly-signed treaty, what was promised from the previous treaty was made null and void, and as such the Menominee people each time did not get what they were promised from the government. This has lead to a land size much smaller than they originally owned, as well as a general mistrust of the government. On one such occasion, the government passed a treaty in which only 5% of the Menominee people agreed to, many of whom did not understand the English language. This has all leads to a concept called "historical trauma," which I will talk about more in a later post and which underlies a lot of the challenges faced within the community. Overall, Menominee County is the 13th poorest county in the nation. The main industries on the reservation are the logging company, which employs about 200 people (most of whom are native), and the casino, which also employs a large amount of workers as well.
I had the day off on Sunday and went up to Door County, which was
incredible. It is located right on the peninsula in Wisconsin. Up
there, they have multiple state parks, wineries, restaurants, and shopping. I
went for a 7 mile hike right on the shores of Lake Michigan!