Geography/American Indian Studies 322/522
Native Geographies Class Field Trip - April 15, 2009

Left to Right: David Grignon (Menominee Nation Historic Preservation), Brandon Hubin-Barrows, Kyle Engelking, Anthony Schultz, James Ivory, Justin Woodrich, Chelsea Goebel, Colin Fitzgerald, Keely Johnson, Rachel Bisek, Tracey Grubb, Jacob Zander, Leatrice Zehm, Jonathan Free, Ben Colbenson, Joel Jahnke, Michelle Ehrhard, Alex Ferge, Joe Kabat, Jean Cox (Menominee Nation Historic Preservation), Andrew Meyer, Trevor Cass, Bill Peterson, James Beckstrand, Ezra Zeitler.

The Menominee Nation Logging Museum hosted the Native Geographies class on a warm and wonderful day in mid-April. Before arriving in Keshena, the class stopped at the Shawano Dam (south of the reservation) to seek spawning Lake Sturgeon in the Wolf River. A few massive fish were sighted from the Mountain-Bay Trail bridge. The dam prevents the sturgeon (Nama'o in the Menominee language) from returning to their natural spawning area below Keshena Falls. To learn more about the cultural and spiritual importance of Nama'o to the Menominee, click here.

After arriving at the Logging Museum, David Grignon provided an introduction to Menominee history and culture and Jean Cox guided the class on a tour around the Logging Museum grounds. Menominee Tribal Enterprises, which is owned and operated by the Menominee Nation, is world renowned for their sustainable forest management practices, and the museum preserves valuable material items from the early industrial logging days.

After a wonderful lunch consisting of roast venison, trout, wild rice, white corn soup, berries, and all kinds of other goodies, tribal researcher Doug Cox presented an informative lecture on the biogeography of the reservation and management of the its diverse ecosystems. Tribal GIS Coordinator Paul Cigelski also stopped by to discuss how the tribe is utilizing GIS to assist with issues such as land and infrastructure management.

The visit concluded with a leisurely stroll to Keshena Falls, site of the natural spawning grounds for Lake Winnebago sturgeon. The falls hold a significant degree spiritual importance for the Menominee, and the class was honored to learn about and experience this sacred place first hand.

A sincere thanks goes out to Dave, Jean, Doug, Stan, and Paul for sharing their knowledge with us!

Shawano Dam, located on the Wolf River, is as far upstream as sturgeon can swim before spawning.

Our tasty lunch (wild rice, venison, trout, white corn soup, berries, bread, and fresh maple syrup)!

As true geography geeks, Leatrice and Tracey were naturally impressed with the antique compasses at the Logging Museum.

Department of Natural Resources wardens posting "Fish Refuge" signs at the Shawano Dam.

Chelsea, Keely, Alex, Bill, and Ben enjoy their lunch at the Menominee Logging Museum.

Keshena Falls, the natural spawning grounds for the sturegon of the Lake Winnebago watershed.