Lac Courte Oreilles entry into tourism starting to pay off

Produced by Paul DeMain
Reserve, Wisconsin (NFIC) 6-08

100 years ago a piece of land on the Chippewa River served as a stopping place resort. Now, in the hands of the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Tribe in northern Wisconsin, people continue to stop there. In 1921 the gates of the nearby Winter Dam closed creating one of the largest, cleanest, clearest bodies of water outside of the Great Lakes and the subsequent stopping place changed names and hands, but people still came.

Today, after modernization and refurbishing The Landing, as it is now known bustles with tourists, local Ojibwe workers, and at times visiting tribal dignitaries and locals living half-way across the country. If you return home now days, you can do it in style and spend your money at a facility owned by your own tribe.

Some people are there because the reputation for good food has been determined, others are drawn there for a small demonstration of Ojibwe culture, and exhibition of Native dance each Wednesday evening during the summer season. The mid-weed presentation overseen by Rebbecca Taylor, a seasoned dancer of the country's powwow contest circuit, is short and to the point.

Taylor MCs the event but there is lots of other things going on. Local Ojibwe craftspeople sit nearby at tables with birchbark beaded barrettes, bird houses and baskets, earing and other locally made crafts on display.

the_landing6-08_3.jpg Tribal employees are in and out of the nearby restaurant lodge, serving porch customers watching the show, while other visitors inside, peer over the dinner resort menu or order ice cream from the parlor. Walleye is one of the featured items, and wild rice soup is not far down the line.

Several log cabins follow the new Flowage shoreline that was created after the dam was built over the objection of the local tribal community, whose land was condemned to move the project forward. The relatives of those displaced now play host to inquiring minds and those seeking a breath of fresh air.

In this two-part video, the mid-week show's grand entry and first honor song are featured. The dancers, representing several tribes, feature their category, and in about an hour, the group ends up with a two-step, inviting a few courageous "city folk" to jump in line. The Ojibwe people always found some pleasure in seeing what happened next - but that we will feature in an upcoming show. So hang around this site ----

In the second video, gaiashkabos, a member of the LCO Tribal Council and former chairman, talks about the history of the resort and what it is doing for the tribe today.


A simple grand entry and veterans song in honor

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"They started a little resort right here"

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