The documentary video recounts the saga of Legend Lake, a beautiful 5,160 acre lake development, formed by joining 9 smaller lakes in the Menominee Indian Reservation (with the same boundaries as Menominee County) in northern Wisconsin whose shore-land was subdivided and sold mostly to non-Menominee people. Legend Lake represents another chapter in the long and often contentious relationship between American Indians and non-Indians in Wisconsin.
Why and how the lake came into being, what land issues have arisen and what might be done to manage them is the subject of this video and related reference materials which build on the video’s themes. While the documentary is instructive in its own right, the packet of study materials provides teachers, students and community members with more information for greater understanding of the differing perspectives on land in the Legend Lake area.
Terra Institute has supported the efforts of the producer, director and writer of the documentary --Mark Anthony Rolo-- the photographer and editor --Robert Breitenbach-- and several Menominee and non-Menominee people to express their different perspectives on the Legend Lake development. A focus group involving teachers from local schools and the University of Wisconsin devised discussion questions to support teaching of the video. Our team then prepared an outline for a One Day Lesson Plan and a suggested Four Day Lesson Plan along with a set of reference materials for assisting teachers use the video.
Financial support was received from Terra Institute, the Wisconsin Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities for the preparation of the suggested one day and four day lesson plans.
The Indian Land Tenure Foundation has also provided support for the efforts to acquaint teachers and administrators with the video, suggested lesson plans and other land tenure information.
The video and accompanying materials offer no solutions. They do not take sides. But they do demonstrate that people with different life histories are willing to respect each other and learn from each other and even come to an agreement as to possible courses of action.