History of Wisconsin

Winnebago Indian

This illustrated article provides interesting facts, information and a history timeline of the Native American Indians of Wisconsin.

The climate, land, history, environment and natural resources that were available to the indigenous Indian tribes in Wisconsin resulted in the adoption of the Northeast Woodlands culture.

Discover the history, interesting facts and information about the way of life of the Wisconsin Indians before the arrival of the white European settlers and colonists.

History of Native Americans
Native Indian Tribes Index

History of Wisconsin Indians
Factors that contributed to the history of the state are detailed in the History Timeline. The history timeline shows the impact of the new comers to the state.

Stone Age History of Wisconsin
The American Native Indians who lived in what is now the present state of Wisconsin led a Stone Age lifestyle - they only had stone tools and weapons, had never seen a horse and had no knowledge of the wheel. The history of the Wisconsin Indians are detailed in this article.

Map of Wisconsin
The map of Wisconsin provides a bird's eye view of the location of the tribal territories and homelands of the Wisconsin Indians in relation to the present day United States of America. The map indicates the location of the State and the American Native Indians of Wisconsin.


State Map of Wisconsin

State Map showing location of Wisconsin

State Map showing location of Wisconsin Indians


Names of the Wisconsin Indian Tribes
Wisconsin is a Midwestern state in north central United States. There are many famous Native American tribes who played a part in the history of the state and whose tribal territories and homelands are located in the present day state of Wisconsin. The names of the Wisconsin tribes included the Chippewa, Dakota Sioux, Fox, Huron, Iowa, Kickapoo, Mohican, Miami, Munsee, Iroquois, Otoe, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Tionontati and Winnebago.

Fast Facts about the History of Wisconsin Indians
The way of life and history of Wisconsin Indians was dictated by the natural raw materials available in the State of Wisconsin. The natural resources and materials available provided the food, clothing and houses of the Wisconsin Indians. Fast facts about the history, culture and life of the State of Wisconsin Indians. Discover facts and information about the history of the State of Wisconsin Indians.

  • Name of State: Wisconsin
  • Meaning of State name: Named after the Wisconsin River and means "grassy place" in the Chippewa language
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Wisconsin: Lake Superior lowland and highland sloping to the sandy central plain
  • Culture adopted by Wisconsin Indians: Northeast Woodlands Cultural Group
  • Languages: Iroquoian and Algonquian 
  • Way of Life (Lifestyle): Hunter-gatherers, farmers, fishers, trappers
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Wigwams (aka Birchbark houses) and Longhouses

History Timeline of the Wisconsin Indians
The history and the way of life of Wisconsin Indians was profoundly affected by newcomers to the area. The indigenous people had occupied the land thousands of years before the first European explorers arrived. The Europeans brought with them new ideas, customs, religions, weapons, transport (the horse and the wheel), livestock (cattle and sheep) and disease which profoundly affected the history of the Native Indians. For a comprehensive History timeline regarding the early settlers and colonists refer to the
Colonial America Time Period. The history of the State and of its Native American Indians is detailed in a simple History Timeline. This Wisconsin Indian History Timeline provides a list detailing dates of conflicts, wars and battles involving Wisconsin Indians and their history. We have also detailed major events in US history which impacted the history of the Wisconsin Indians.

Wisconsin History Timeline

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Wisconsin

10,000 BC: Paleo-Indian Era (Stone Age culture) the earliest human inhabitants of America who lived in caves and were Nomadic hunters of large game including the Great Mammoth and giant bison.

7000 BC: Archaic Period in which people built basic shelters and made stone weapons and stone tools

1000 AD: Woodland Period including the Hopewell cultures established along rivers in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States which included trade exchange systems and burial systems

1000: Mississippian Culture established. This was the last of the mound-building cultures of North America in Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States

1634: Jean Nicolet was the first known European to reach Wisconsin in search of the Northwest Passage.

1679: Frenchman Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Luth (16361710) claims the region for France 

1775: 1775 - 1783 - The American Revolution.

1776: July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence

1803: The United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France for 15 million dollars for the land

1812: 1812 - 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America's Independence

1830: Indian Removal Act

1832: Department of Indian Affairs established

1832: Black Hawk War occurred in Northern Illinois, Michigan, Southwestern Wisconsin including the Battle of Bad Axe - see Black Hawk

1861: 1861 - 1865: The American Civil War.

1862: U.S. Congress passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers

1865: The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signalled the end of the Confederacy

1887: Dawes General Allotment Act passed by Congress leads to the break up of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers

1969: All Indians declared citizens of U.S.

1979: American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Wisconsin

State of Wisconsin History Timeline

History of Wisconsin Indians - Destruction and Decline
The history of the European invasion brought epidemic diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, influenza, measles and smallpox. The Native Indians of Wisconsin had not developed immunities against these diseases resulting in huge losses in population. Exploitation including the leverage of taxes, enforced labor and enslavement were part of their history, taking their toll on the Wisconsin Indians.


  • History of Wisconsin Indians
  • Interesting Facts and information about the Wisconsin Culture and History
  • Names of indigenous Wisconsin tribes of Indians
  • Fast Facts, History Timeline and info
  • Map of Wisconsin
  • History Timeline of the Wisconsin Indians

State of Wisconsin Indians - Additional Pictures and Videos
State of Wisconsin Indian History. Discover the vast selection of pictures and videos of Native Americans. The pictures show the clothing, weapons and decorations of various Native American tribes that can be used as an educational history resource for kids and children. We hope that this article on the History of Wisconsin Indians  will assist in your studies or homework and that you will enjoy watching the videos featuring many pictures of the Native Americans. A great historical educational resource for kids on the subject of the History of Wisconsin Indians..


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