Land And Population On The Indian Reservation Of Wisconsin: Past, Present, And Future
The historical relationship between land use and population change among Wisconsin's Indian groups has been strikingly emblematic of the larger American Indian population. The ingredients of this rich relationship include the state's natural resource base, as well as the major engines of demographic change, namely fertility, mortality, and migration. In addition, federal policies have played a critical role in mediating this relationship. These policies have figured prominently since the earliest contact between Europeans and Wisconsin Indians and have continued to exert substantial influence. This paper discusses the past, present, and future relationship between the land and the state's Indian populations, paying particular attention to reservation populations. The reciprocal relationship between land and population among Wisconsin's Indians has evolved in an environment of changing social and political forces. Hence, the paper treats these issues in a chronological manner. It begins by reviewing the early period of contact between Europeans and Indians in the area known today as Wisconsin. Then, it discusses the creation of the state of Wisconsin and various Indian reservations, as well as their implications for Indian populations in the state. Next, it discusses federal land policies of the 19th and 20th centuries, and their effects on Wisconsin reservation populations. Finally, it describes current land tenure issues and the implications of future population growth.
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