Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Representative Visits the AMNH
In November 2021, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), Division of Anthropology, welcomed David Grignon (Nahwahquaw), the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and NAGPRA Designate of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin to review Menominee items in the Museum’s collections. While at AMNH, Mr. Grignon ceremonially cleansed sacred items in the Division’s “Smudge Room” and carefully reviewed Menominee objects on display in the Hall of Eastern Woodlands Indians. He also went behind the scenes into the Museum’s collections spaces to see textiles and ethnographic objects and visited the Special Collections Library to study historical Menominee photographs. The visit marked Mr. Grignon’s second time at AMNH during his tenure with the tribe and continues the ongoing relationship between the Museum and the Menominee people.
The Menominee Tribe is one of eleven federally recognized groups in the state of Wisconsin whose origin story begins at the mouth of the Menominee River, just 60 miles from the present-day reservation north of Green Bay. The tribe’s lands and waters include over 235,000 acres and encompass the largest single tract of virgin timberland in Wisconsin, as well as 187 miles of rivers and streams, and 53 lakes. The Menominee people cherish the abundance of natural resources on their lands and are active in preserving their environment, culture, and language. They feel a deep connection to the area that has been their ancestral territory for thousands of years, calling themselves Kāēyas Mamāceqtaw, or the “Ancient Ones.”