View of the People of the Waters exhibit

13,000 years of history


People of the Waters is a long-term exhibition about Wisconsin’s prehistoric past that illustrates Native American culture, which stretches more than twelve thousand years. The exhibition also celebrates the survival of Wisconsin’s Native Nations and the state’s eleven tribal groups.

People of the Waters features interactive media kiosks and a dynamic forty-foot-long glass wall that showcases hundreds of artifacts representing at least 13,000 years of history - from Paleoindians through the Fur Trade era of the early 1800s. Walk inside a full-sized recreated Oneota longhouse to learn about daily life in a Native village 1000 years ago. 

These prehistoric cultures did not just disappear. Explore Living Cultures through an interactive map where you can hear the Menominee names of Wisconsin cities and landmarks, as well as the annual exhibit of art from a Featured Contemporary Native Artist.

This exhibition makes a great K-12 field trip to enhance classroom learning. Click here to book your field trip visit today!

Special thanks to our content experts: Mike and Karen Ann Hoffman of the Menominee Nation Clans Committee, the Ho-Chunk Nation, Dr. Jeffrey Behm, Dr. Ray Reser, Dr. William Mode, Dr. Joseph Peterson, and Jack Steinbring.

Artifact case in People of the Waters

Ongoing Exhibition

American Association for State and Local History 2018 Award of Merit Winner

Thank you to our major sponsors: The Alberta S. Kimball-Mary L. Anhaltzer Foundation, Associated Bank, JEK Foundation, Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, and the Durow Trust.

Visitors enjoy the People of the Waters exhibition
View of the People of the Waters exhibit
Child inspecting artifacts in People of the Waters

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