Today, on Shawano County Road A in northeastern Wisconsin, a new sign announces the reservation of the MOHICAN NATION. Circling the Many Trails symbol are the words "Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians." The term "Mohican Nation" acknowledges the tribe's sovereignty and its government relationship with federal, states, county and township governments. The words "Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians" acknowledge the people's history.
The Stockbridge-Munsee Community is still located on this reservation in Wisconsin, although enrolled tribal members live in other parts of Wisconsin, the United States and the world. The reservation boundaries encompass the two townships of Red Springs and Bartelme.
Some of the tribe's families live on trust land which is assigned to tribal members for their use. Others live on privately owned lands within the reservation boundaries, as do some non-Indians. Approximately half of the tribal population of about 1,500 lives on or near the reservation.
Over the past sixty-some years, the Stockbridge-Munsee has not only survived but the community has grown in many ways. First of all, the forests have returned, and with the forests so have deer, bear, waterfowl, wild turkeys and other animals. People have reported seeing a white deer and also a cougar.
Some of the homes still provide shelter, including a few stone houses that are now on the National Historic Registry. However, mobile homes, apartments and more and more permanent homes continue to add to the housing opportunities on the reservation. New apartments for the elderly, called the Moshuebee Apartments, are attached to the Elderly Center where meals and other activities are provided.
Numerous structures are needed to house the tribal government, the tribal court, legal department, Mohican News, tribal administration and roads departments. The Mohican Family Center features a full-size gym, exercise room, aerobics room and youth center. In addition, a new comprehensive Health and Wellness Center, including medical and dental and behavioral health facilities, has recently opened.
The Pine Hills Golf Course has expanded to eighteen holes, and the new Supper Club provides fine dining on weekends. The original clubhouse has also been expanded and serves as a Many Trails Meeting Hall and Banquet Facility. The sand filter/waste-water treatment facility will provide drinkable water to parts of the reservation and several roads are newly paved.
The pow-wow grounds have been groomed for the annual gathering which is held the second week of August. Sweat lodges are used frequently, at many sites on the reservation.
The North Star Mohican Casino can be credited with much of the Mohican Nation's economic progress. The casino is the largest employer in Shawano County. Over half of the 600 employees are non-Mohicans. The casino also contributes to the economy of the county. Numerous busses arrive at the casino daily; deliveries of casino and bingo supplies, foods and beverages, fuel, paper products, cleaning supplies and other necessities attest to the economic contributions of the casino in the area. The recently opened Little Star Gas Station and Convenience Store provides employment and services.
The children from the reservation attend school in the Bowler and Gresham Public Schools. Many of the high school graduates go on to college, technical school or a university. Tribal members hold degrees in law, medicine, education, engineering, architecture, science, fine arts and other disciplines. The Stockbridge-Munsee Education Board oversees programs meant to encourage students to progress in and advance their education.
Back in the early 1970's, Bernice Miller requested a space from the Tribal Council for the purpose of preserving the papers and artifacts of her late husband, Arvid E. Miller. An active historical committee, consisting of Elders and anyone else interested in tribal history, committed themselves to gathering everything that is known about the Stockbridge-Munsee/Mohican people. A "ditto-machine" newspaper was started and shared community news for about ten years.
Gathering history required travel to homelands in the east. Since 1969 at least twenty research trips have been made. Traveling in caravans of autos or by bus, youth and elders have visited the Mission House and burial grounds in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Many climbed Monument Mountain. Research has been done in the Stockbridge Historical Room, the New York State Historical Library in Albany, the Huntington Library in New York City and in numerous other libraries and museums.
The research library includes books, hand-written letters, notes, maps, photos, genealogy records and more.
The museum collection includes: baskets made of splints and birch bark, arrowheads, stone axes, war clubs, and other original artifacts.
Through Repatriation artifacts recently returned to the library Museum include a wampum belt and ceremonial pipes.
As a result, the Arvid E. Miller Memorial Library is an excellent resource for students and scholars involved in research. The Library/Museum welcomes visitors from near and far daily.