Outagamie County Wisconsin
The On yote a ka (Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin) is a member of the Iroquois Confederacy, indigenous to central New York state. The Oneida Tribe is a federally recognized Indian Nation of 14,533 members, one-third of whom live on or near the 65,000 acre semi-rural reservation. The Oneida Indian Reservation was established by the Oneida Treaty of 1838 (7 Stat. 566, Feb. 3, 1838).
The Oneida Nation Reservation is located on the metropolitan fringe of the city of Green Bay in northeastern Wisconsin, located southwest of the city of Green Bay and west of the Fox River. It straddles the boundary of Brown and Outagamie Counties and includes all or portions of the City of Green Bay, Villages of Ashwaubenon and Howard, and the Towns of Hobart, Oneida, and Pittsfield. The reservation boundaries encompass some 65,400 acres, of which 11,500 acres are owned by the Tribe or Tribal members. The reservation is home to nearly 4,000 of the 12,000 Tribal members who comprise the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. Duck Creek, a major tributary of Green Bay, divides the reservation in half. Burma Swamp, the headwaters of Duck Creek, lies outside reservation lands, and is heavily affected agricultural runoff. Due to the checkerboard nature of the reservation, the Tribe’s environmental resources are affected not only by its own activities, but also by those of its neighbors. Indeed, 90 percent of the original wetlands within the boundary of Tribal lands were destroyed through ditching and conversion to cropland. The Tribe determined through aerial photographs that approximately 1,454 acres of the 65,400 acres that comprise the reservation are wetlands. The cumulative impacts of wetlands losses and ongoing nonpoint source pollution has led to degraded water quality and unstable stream flows on the reservation.
The Oneida Reservation, Wisconsin.
Washington, Feb. 27.— The mayor aldermen, postmaster and all prominent citizens of Seymour, Wis., have petitioned all Wisconsin members of Congress to approve and co-operate in the bill of Congressman Hudd for allotment of lands in the Oneida reservation, saying that the present form and status of the reservation is a drawback and serious detriment to Outagamie county.
Having formerly been a resident of Outagamie county, Wis., as also having had the pleasure of an acquaintance with many of the intelligent people of the Oneida reservation, and with a fraternal spirit for the welfare of the Indians in general, we would say, that, as far back as fourteen or fifteen years ago, movements were manifested by some of the then leading citizens of Outagamie county, and the more intelligent members of the Oneida reservation, looking to the rights and privileges of citizenship, or a preliminary form of self-government being extended over the reservation. Nearly two decades have since gone by and the project has, as yet, failed of maturity. The busy city of Appleton was then the only city of import adjacent to the reservation. Now, here, there and everywhere, towns and bustling cities have sprung up into prosperous existence; railroads have spread their sinous lines in all directions of the compass to afford facilities to the ever growing demands of the marts of progressive civilization, until now its ceaseless, surging tide seem to lash itself into fury, while pausing at the last remaining barrier between its tireless flow and the lost acre held according to the traditional customs of the American aborigines (but presided over by the petty autocracy of the nineteenth century) in Outagamie county. From our knowledge of the Oneida, and their circumstances in general, we will venture the assertion, that the Oneida are as worthy of citizenship and as fully capable to take of themselves as the average white citizen of any country, and it is simply ridiculous to think of a community or a people endowed with unquestioned understanding and reasonably advanced intellectually and in the arts of manual labor, etc., to be subject— pestered— everlastingly, with the whims, fancy and narrow limits of petty autocracy which has characterized the system and management of Indian agencies and the Indian service in general. While we are not fully conversant with the bill introduced by the Hon. T.R. Hudd, we feel that the interests of the Oneidas will be as strictly and as zealously guarded as that of the most Worthy constituent within the jurisdiction of the district, and in the Hon. T. R. Hudd they will find a staunch advocate Whenever Justice and fair-play may need a friend.
[Source: "The Progress". (White Earth, Minn.), March 10, 1888]
Green Bay, Wis.— Announcement from Washington that on July 1st the station maintained at the Oneida reservation west of this city would be closed, the school and farm discontinued and the institution sold has aroused a storm of protest among Indians on the reservation. The Oneida tribe is still the largest in Wisconsin and consists of more than 2,600 people. The reservation originally consisted of 65,000 acres in Brown and Outagamie counties, but the land has been allotted to the Indians and in part sold to white farmers. The tribe is a remnant of the original five nations in New York who were removed to Wisconsin in 1838. The members have become civilized and are all farmers, maintaining well stocked barns and with up to date farming equipment. Following the announcement of the closing of the station, the Indians held a mass meeting and drafted resolutions to Congress asking that the order to sell be set aside and that the government turn the station over to the Oneida nation. They say the station is on land, which they received in the treaty award and that the government has no right to sell it. A movement has been inaugurated by agricultural lists of Brown, Outagamie, Oconta, Waupaca and other counties to have the large buildings, which have served as a school and dormitory, converted into an inter-county agricultural school and experiment station.
Representatives of the agricultural interests of the counties of this section of the state plan to appeal to the Wisconsin legislature to present a memorial to Congress asking that the buildings of Oneida be turned over to the state of Wisconsin to be used as so agricultural school and experiment station.
A delegation of farmers and agricultural agents of the counties inspected the buildings and found them to be suitable for the purpose. Land adjoining the buildings is adapted for experimenting with crops.
J. C. Hart, Indian agent at Oneida for nearly twenty years, has been assigned to the Indian reservation at Pawnee, Oklahoma, and will have supervision of the reservations at Pawnee, Ponca and Otoe. He will report for duty at Pawnee on July 15th.
The abandonment of the agency at Oneida is due to the fact that only a limited number of children have attended the school in the last two years, and also because the Indians have their own township government.
The townships, Hobart and Oneida, have been formed with Oneida in charge of the government.
The Oneida agency will be transferred to Keshena, headquarters of the Menominee Indian agency. —St. Paul Pioneer Press.
We print above in full an excerpt from the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Our brethren the Oneida have come into their own in the release from government oversight. True to its nature however the Indian Bureau will not release without a last say and propose to close the institutions and dispose of lands in accordance with its own sweet will.
The Indians in their protest propose to have something to say in regard to the final disposition of their institutions and lands. The rightfully claim that both the buildings and the land is their own and ask that the order to sell be set aside and the title to laud be conferred to the Oneida nation. This is a just claim and the protest against the government selling the against the government selling the lands and buildings without consulting the Indians logically arises from it. The Oneida nation would then be at liberty to conduct schools or sell land according to their own views, and as to the matter of a large school under the auspices of several counties of Wisconsin, it evidently would be in accord with the views of the Oneidas. Once the title was national, the nation we believe could sell, on better terms than could the federal government. The federal government would be obsessed with the idea that it was disposing of abandoned property and would be disposed to accept any sort of bid. The Oneidas, if they, in and by themselves stood in the position of grantor in esse, could arrange for price and terms on their own initiative. The Oneidas known to some of our Chippewas, are men of intelligence and who know to a certainty the value of the land measured by the value of neighboring tracts individually owned by white people. If the Oneidas desire to sell land and school buildings, the judgement of such men as Dennison Wheelock and others would teem the most favorable of prices.
Brethren of the Oneidas, stick to your protest and secure your rights by engaging the interest; of your senators and congressmen.
[Source: "The Tomahawk." (White Earth, Becker County, Minn.) July 10, 1919]