Chief Oshkosh

Leader in Troubled Times

1795–1858

How do you make history?

During Chief Oshkosh’s lifetime the United States government was pushing many American Indian nations off their lands, including his people, the Menominee. After much land had already been ceded, Chief Oshkosh pushed back and worked to negotiate treaties that would allow the Menominee to stay on their homeland. He also promoted his people’s traditional forest management practices, known today as sustainable forestry.

Meet Chief Oshkosh

View Transcript: English Spanish

Questions to Consider

Illustration of the geographical shape of the State of Wisconsin with the number 1 superimposed above it

The United States Government used treaties to make First Nations like the Menominee give up their lands. Later Oshkosh wrote a treaty to ensure that his people could keep and live on part of their original lands. What are treaties? What do they show us about the relationship between the Menominee and the United States Government?

Illustration of the geographical shape of the State of Wisconsin with the number 2 superimposed above it

In his role as leader of the Menominee people, Chief Oshkosh worked to protect his people and their land. To do that, he had to stand up to the government that wanted to take it away. How do you think Chief Oshkosh might have felt when he had to tell government leaders “no”? What qualities did he demonstrate when he did that?

Illustration of the geographical shape of the State of Wisconsin with the number 3 superimposed above it

Chief Oshkosh and his people relied on their lands and waters for everything they needed to live. How did they make sure that those resources would continue to exist?

Read On

Illustrated portrait of Chief Oshkosh

Chief Oshkosh: Leader in Troubled Times

Get the full story with this biography book. Audio files are available on each page if you’d like to listen along!

 

Project Credits

Producer
Dan Kaplan
Becky Marburger

Associate Producer
Joe Young

Illustration
The Brave Union

Animation
The Brave Union

Animation Voice Over
Dawson McKay

Audiobook Narration
Jonathan Horne

Audiobook Editing
Kerman Eckes

Captioning
Catie Pfeifer
Vicki Way Kipp

Educator Support Materials
Mia Forslund

Web
John Vieth
Erika Kachama-Nkoy
Tim Schneider

Design
Charles Barrows

Translation Services
University of Wisconsin-Madison Cultural Linguistic Services

Executive Producer
Peggy Garties

Special Thanks
Marta Bechtol
Kurt Griesemer

Story Advisors

Brenda Autz
Park Elementary School
Middleton, WI
(2013)

Pam Dempsey
James C. Wright Middle School
Madison, WI
(2021)

Charlene Dupler
Lakeview Elementary School
Wind Lake, WI
(2013)

Kurt Griesemer
Wisconsin HIstorical Society
Madison, WI
(2013)

Lisa Husnick
Lodi Elementary School
Lodi, WI
(2021)

Kerri Lintl
Merrimac Community School
Merrimac, WI
(2021)

Kristen McDaniel
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Madison, WI
(2013)

David J. O’Connor
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Madison, WI
(2013)

Susan Plewa
Gaenslen School
Milwaukee, WI
(2021)

Amanda Price
Marshall Elementary School
Marshall, WI
(2021)

Stephanie Schuettpelz
Marion Elementary School
Marion, WI

Corey Thompson
Cardinal Stritch University
(2013)

Stephanie Unertl
Lake Mills Area School District
Lake Mills, WI
(2013)

Stephanie Schuettpelz
Marion Elementary School
Marion, WI
(2021)

Beth Thayer
Hillsboro Elementary School
Hillsboro, WI
(2021)

Christina Venn
Sheboygan Falls Elementary School
Sheboygan Falls, WI
(2021)

Christine Wautlet
Susie C. Altmayer Elementary
De Pere, WI
(2021)

Wanda Welch
Hawthorne Elementary School
Milwaukee, WI
(2021)