Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 687
Winnebago, NE 68071

Contact Information




Cultural History

Around 500 BC, the Winnebago initially arrived in northwest Kentucky. Wisconsin is the area that they went to by 500 AD. There had been an inter-tribal war with the Potawatomis in the 1620s. Surprisingly, epidemics of measles and small pox killed lots of people after the war that resulted to the reducing of people from 25,000 to 150. 

In 1816, the first treaty was signed by Winnebago Tribe with the United States. There was also the signing of boundaries and cession treaties that happened during those times between 1820s and 1830s. Because of this, they lose most of their tribal lands. They have to evacuate their place and transfer from northeast Iowa to Minnesota to South Dakota and their present place now is in Nebraska. Their current place is where the establishment of Winnebago Indian Reservation occurred. The occurrence of nocturnal gravitation followed the displacement to the plains of South Dakota when the dispossessed people of Winnebago went down to the Missouri River for them to finally rejoin the remnants of their tribe that is located in Nebraska.  By 1913, they lose about two thirds of their reservation land. Through the 1960s, economic and population opportunities were gone. 

Indian Claims Commission gave $4.6 million to the tribe in 1975 because of the land that they had lost during the land cession treaty with the federal government.  They thought of developing three programs with the use of the money. The programs are credit and a wake, burial program, and land acquisition.  

Under the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, the tribe has been recognized federally and has also been organized. In 1968, the 1936 bylaws and constitution were amended. The Tribal Council consists of many members; the chairperson, secretary, treasurer, and the other five. They should serve the people for one year and the other members are just elected to take the position.  In the place of its legal system, sovereignty is the Tribe reestablished in 1986. Every October, elections are held in order to elect three members in the tribal council. They are the ones entitled to make a difference in their tribe through their knowledge and ability. Leaders are very important for the organization of their everyday activities. They will also tell how the people should contribute to the betterment of their community. 

The tribal homelands of Winnebago are in the northeast corner of Nebraska, and it is also located at some parts of western Iowa. If they will be able to protect their homelands, they can definitely tell that they will be all right in the future. They are also aiming to continue their tradition by passing it to their children and on the one hand, build their economy as well. The belief in their capacity to grow, survive the struggles, and make a difference will enable them to maintain the goodness that they are experiencing right now. They want the other generation to see their kept history. Today, the member of this tribe reached 4,000 members. 

Featured Tribal News

No featured news.