St. Croix Chippewa

Mailing Address

24663 Angeline Avenue
Webster, WI 54893

Contact Information

715-349-2195

Website

http://www.glitc.org/pages/scc.html

Casino(s)

Cultural History

Located by the side of the St. Croix River, the St. Croix Chippewa Indians--also known as the St. Croix Band--is most commonly known to be divided between two groups namely the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin and the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Minnesota. The division of the tribe is the result of its location being the border of Wisconsin and Minnesota. The St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin is already a recognized tribe while the other St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Minnesota are still seeking recognition but is already one of the component members of the Mille LAcs band of Ojibwe.

The St. Croix Chippewa has a rich and colorful history dating back to 600 years ago. It was then the St. Croix Chippewa first moved from the Lake Superior to the St. Croix River Valley. The move was triggered by the need to search for food which can be found by the St. Croix River. Their immigration was not easy, though. They had to battle out against the other tribes including a brutal territorial disagreement with the Dakota and the Fox even if there were eight other Native American Indian tribes who have settled in the St. Croix Valley. The Headwaters of the St. Coix River is dubbed as the "Manoominikeshiinyag-ziibi" in the the Ojibwe Language, the second most widely spoken dialect among Native Americans. This name literally means Rice-bird River for it is a known dwelling of birds. Originally, the St. Croix Band was divided into 13 other sub-bands namely the Apple River Band, the Clam River Band, the KWttle River Band, the Knife River Band, the Rice River Band, the Rush River Band, the Snake River Band, the Sunrise River Band, the Tamarack River Band, the Totogatic River Band, the Wolf River Band, the Wood River Band and the Yellow River Band. Of these sub-bands, the Knife, Rice, Rush, Sunrise and Apple River Bands were labeled as the “Biitan-akiing-enabijig” meaning the “Border Sitters because of their closeness to the Dakota people despite of the animosity in the earlier times. 

The White Pine Treat opened opportunities for the lumbermen to start their small businesses using the White Pine that grows along the St. Croix River. The treaty is also known as the Treaty of St. Peters in 1937. Thanks to this treaty, the tribe can continuously carry out their traditional hunting, fishing and other methods of living. Prior to the Sandy Lake Tragedy, the St. Croix Band was spared from the Indian removal policy. I t resulted to another treaty with the federal government assuring the tribe of their own reservation. However, the St. Croix Band disagreed to this treaty that they found themselves losing federal acknowledgment in 1854. Thus, they were disarmed of their rights to pursue their traditional exercises as stated in the St. Peter’s treaty. 

The St. Croix Band of Wisconsin decided to move to the Lac Courte Oreilles Indian Reservation so that they will be paid their annuities. Despite the offer, many stayed in the St. Croix Valley and so was the case of the St. Croix ABnd Members of Minnesota who were encouraged to move to the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation. Today, there are recorded 641 members of the tribe. Scattered reservation communities reach up to 50 miles. Their headquarters is located in the Sand Lake Reservation Community. They are the operators of the St. Croix Casino & Hotel, the Little Turtle Hertel Express Casino and the Hole in the Wall Casino and Hotel in Wisconsin.

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