With a presence in Northern Wisconsin and the surrounding areas that spans centuries, the St. Croix people are among the region’s original inhabitants. Their commerce began in the 17th century, developing important partnerships with French traders, many of whom married into the tribe. Through periods of prosperity and persecution, peace and conflict, the St Croix Ojibwe have persevered, enduring removal from ancestral lands, and a period of displacement when it was known as “the lost tribe”. Today, these proud, resilient people are recognized as business leaders with a rich tradition and culture, who’ve created a regional economic engine that employs thousands and generates millions.
The St. Croix currently have five main reservation communities in northwestern Wisconsin. Dotted with lakes, streams and forests, the St. Croix reservation lands allow the tribe to practice its traditional harvesting of wild rice, maple syrup, berries, fish and deer and to share the bounty with surrounding communities. Tribal traditions are carefully passed down to the tribe’s children.
A strong sense of tradition forms the bedrock for the tribe’s thriving business ventures, which include three casinos, St. Croix Casino Turtle Lake, St. Croix Casino Danbury and St. Croix Casino Hertel; St. Croix Travel; the Fourwinds Market in Siren; St. Croix Construction; and technology firm Emerald Systems, which has earned 8A certification from the Small Business Administration.
Through its powerful fusion of traditional values and innovative approach to business, the St. Croix tribe’s cultural and economic impact will continue to uplift both northwest Wisconsin and the surrounding regions.