Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa

Rebecca Gotts

At first glance, the YouTube video simply shows a young girl playing with Legos at her home.

But if you listen closely, it’s something more.

Six-year-old Wren Gotts is describing her Lego creations, by color, in Anishinaabemowin, the traditional Ojibwe language.

Wren patiently holds up each piece, explaining it in the language.

WJFW TV is reporting Forest County District Attorney Charles Simino asked to drop charges against Mole Lake Tribal Chair Chris McGeshick regarding an incident at tribal headquarters one year ago.

McGeshick was charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors after a tribal member alleged he was attacked.

The tribal council fully backed McGeshick, saying the allegations were false, as did McGeshick's attorney.

Judge Leon Stenz approved the dismissal of charges this week.

Sokaogon Chippewa Community Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

A strongly worded statement from the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Council defends Chair Chris McGeshick after state charges were filed Monday in Forest County Circuit Court.

Internet court records find McGeshick was charged Monday with false imprisonment, a lower felony, and two misdemeanors of battery and disorderly conduct. In a statement from the tribal council, they say the charges against McGeshick involve a former employee who is allegedly under investigation by tribal authorities.

Sokaogon Chippewa Community Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

A spokesperson says the donation of recording equipment by the State Bar of Wisconsin to the Sokaogon Chippewa Community at Mole Lake will help record elder histories. The Tribal Historic Preservation program was recently notified of the gift.

Tribal Historic Preservation officer Adam VanZile says they were donated two cameras and related equipment after the State Bar bought new equipment. But some rarely used equipment was available and VanZile says that equipment was donated to the tribe....

Sokaogon Chippewa Community Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

March 10th, Native Americans from area tribes were in Washington, D.C. to protest policy toward the Standing Rock tribe by the federal government. Today we hear from three Members of the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa Community... Arlyn Ackley, Jr., Tribal Vice-Chairman, Vickie Ackley, Tribal Treasurer, and Carson Ackley, tribal councilman. They spoke with WXPR's Ken Krall. We hear first from Arlyn Ackley...

Jeep Jamboree Coming To Mole Lake This Weekend

Jul 15, 2015
Jill Zagar photo

Thursday through Sunday the  Mole Lake Lodge and Conference Center will become host site for the 2015 Jeep Jamboree.  The Sokaogon Chippewa Community has granted access to their tribal lands, making it possible to hold  the Jeep Jamboree in the Northwoods.

John Lewins, Jeep Jamboree Trail Coordinator emphasized that “Tread Lightly!” is a very
important motto for their group....

Tribes Gather To Discuss Tourism, Marketing Strategies

Jun 9, 2015
Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News


Representatives from the state’s eleven tribes are wrapping up a conference on Native American tourism. Many are looking to tourism to provide an economic boost.  

The Sokoagon Chippewa Community hosted the annual Native American Tourism of Wisconsin, or NATOW, conference this week.  Tribes from around the state gathered in Mole Lake to talk about fresh ways to market themselves and draw visitors.

Kim Swisher/Brandon Thoms

Two awards from the Federal Home Loan Bank in Chicago will enable the construction of a large amount of affordable housing units in Forest county.

The Affordable Housing Program awarded two grants totaling  $846,000 to the Mole Lake  Sokaogon Chippewa Community. Jeff Ackley is the Sokaogon Housing Director and Tribal Program Administrator. He says the money will help offset the costs of two development projects. He says one grant will convert the Mole Lake Motel  into  supportive residence building...

Mole Lake Holds Powwow to Get Out the Native Vote

Oct 28, 2014

The Sokaogon Chippewa Community is trying out a new way to boost voter turnout for Tuesday’s election. 

The tribe is holding a Native Vote Powwow Wednesday evening in Mole Lake.

Tribal Chairman Chris McGeshick says he hopes the cultural event will remind people of the importance of the Native American vote, both locally and on a statewide or national level. 

Mole Lake to Plan for Emergencies

Oct 2, 2014

The Sokaogon Chippewa Community is developing a plan to prepare for natural disasters or other emergency scenarios near Mole Lake.    

The tribe has received a $45,000  grant from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to put together a task force…which met for the first time this week. 

Environmental Director and task force member Tina Van Zile says the tribe doesn’t have much in place in terms of emergency management, and the plan will help coordinate existing agencies. 

Tribes To Talk Mining, Great Lakes Funding With EPA

Aug 20, 2014

Gogebic Taconite’s mine proposal isn’t the only topic the state’s Chippewa tribes plan to discuss when they meet with the EPA this week.

Sokaogon Chippewa Community Chairman Chris McGeshick  says the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is also on the agenda. 

McGeshick says the initiative hopes to focus its dollars within Great Lakes basins, but he hopes to clarify that the tribes can apply for other projects as well.

Tribal Fish Hatcheries Receive Walleye Grants

Apr 2, 2014
Eric Engbretson / US Fish and Wildlife Service

Fish hatcheries in Mole Lake and Lac du Flambeau will be getting money from the DNR to raise larger walleye fingerlings.  It's part of a round of grants to nine hatcheries statewide totaling $2 million.


  The Wisconsin DNR wants to stock lakes with bigger walleye fingerlings, because they have higher survival rates.  This round of grant money will pay for infrastructure like ponds and tanks….that will allow hatcheries to raise more of those 6 to 8 inch fingerlings.

Wolf River Scenic Byway Plan Moves Forward

Nov 12, 2013
Royalbroil via Wikimedia Commons

A plan for a Scenic Byway in Forest County is just one step away from becoming a reality.  

The Wolf River Heritage Corridor would follow Highway 55, north from Langlade to Nelma near Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. 

The more than one hundred mile route bisects the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa Community.  It also includes a loop near Three Lakes. 

Forest County Economic Development Director Jim Schuessler says getting the scenic byway designation is a rigorous process. 

Remembering the Crandon Mine Proposal

Oct 28, 2013
Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Today marks 10 years since two Native tribes purchased land that was once slated for a copper and zinc mine near the Mole Lake Sokaogon Reservation.

That tribe and Forest County Potawatomi bought the land for more than 16 million dollars. 

WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski went to a celebration this weekend marking the anniversary…and she sat down with some of the tribal activists from Mole Lake. 

Hear from Fred Ackley Jr.:

Hear from Francis Van Zile:

What Does the Crandon Mine Story Mean Today?

Oct 28, 2013
Royalbroil via Wikimedia Commons

Today marks 10 years since a proposal for a copper and zinc mine in Forest County came to an end.  Members of the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa and Menominee tribes gathered this weekend to celebrate…but pointed out that mining remains a controversial issue in northern Wisconsin.