Home to the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Lac du Flambeau was settled in 1745 by Chief Kiishkemon and his band, who migrated from the Hudson Bay area in Canada in search of a legendary “food that grows on the water” (wild rice).
Officially established in the 1837 and 1842 treaties, Lac du Flambeau has become a thriving community known for its respect for Ojibwe cultural traditions, arts and natural resources.
“Lac du Flambeau” translates to “Lake of Torches” in French. Early French traders were witness to Ojibwe warriors spear fishing by torchlight at night.
After the war of 1812, Astor’s American Fur Company maintained its post here until 1835 when furs became scarce. Timber companies turned their attention to the dense forest. Until the turn of the 20th century, Lac du Flambeau was a logging center because of the abundance of natural water ways needed to transport logs. Since then it has become a tourist destination for people around the Midwest; the plentiful lakes offer year-round world class fishing opportunities and old-growth boreal forest and ecosystems are abundant with wildlife and natural beauty.
At the state-of-the art fish hatchery, see how area lakes and other waterways are regularly restocked by the Tribe. Over the last 30 years the tribal fish hatchery has restocked the lakes with over 415 million walleye fry.
The museum offers one of the most complete collections of Lac Du Flambeau history, seasonal workshops, interactive exhibits, cultural programs and a world record sturgeon. Call ahead to book group tours.
The Woodland Indian Art Center is an art gallery featuring work from Native American artists from across the Woodland region. Traditional and contemporary artwork including beaded moccasins, fish decoy carvings, birch bark baskets, jewelry, paintings, prints, photography, and more are for sale.
Located in the heart of downtown, the Bowl hosts Pow Wow shows during summer months every Thursday night. Dancers in full regalia demonstrate various dances and invite the crowd to participate.
Its governmental authority is divided between the Tribal Government and the Town Board. Federal programs help provide modern housing, community facilities and employment yet the Tribal Government works hard to maintain its sovereignty. Lake of the Torches Casino is the largest employer in Vilas County, and helps finance tribal programs and ventures.
Whatever your reasons for visiting or what season, you’ll discover the legendary allure of Lac du Flambeau and make it a point to visit again!