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Nokomis Chapter

National Society
Daughters of the American Revolution

Rhinelander, WI

Chapter Name:  Nokomis

There are two main reasons for offering the name NOKOMIS, even though she is only the fictional Indian grandmother of Hiawatha, the legendary hero of Longfellow's poem of the same name.

First, Nokomis represents a tribe of Indians who have lived continuously in what finally became Oneida County, Wisconsin, from an early day until now, and whose Chippewa descendants still live on the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation of this county.

Secondly, Nokomis reveals a strong and appealing personality as she rears her orphaned grandson, Hiawatha, and passes on to him the rich lore and legends of his Indian forefathers.

When Father Allouez, in 1666, built the first mission on the southern shore of Lake Superior, he found the Ojibwa of the Algonquin family with their spirit, Gitchie Gumee, well established there. These tribes were later called Chippewa and extended their hunting and trapping of fur-bearing animals throughout the fine virgin timberlands and along the most northern tributaries of the Wisconsin River. But not until 1836 was Wisconsin territory set off as an independent territory from the original Northwest Territory. The fur products were traded to the French voyagers at widely spaced trading posts on the many waterways of Northern Wisconsin.

Indian trails through the woodlands and along the water courses became logical sites for these early trading posts and later pioneer settlements. Thus we understand how the Indians were our earliest and original citizens and why the entire northern region of Wisconsin has often been designated as the "land of Hiawatha."

As for Nokomis, her life seems to parallel the life and work of DAR members in that she sought to instill tribal patriotism, respect for ancestors, and receptiveness to the moral teachings of Jesuit priests who also offered education to the young.

Suggested by Bessie Meredith

Chapter Officers
Chapter Office Officer Name
Regent Mary Bybee
Vice Regent Vacant
Chaplain Diane Bradley
Recording Secretary Ruth Thompson
Registrar Nancy Bailey
Teresa Dorn

DAR Facts

Founded: October 11, 1890, incorporated 1896 by an Act of Congress

Mission: To promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism

Motto: God, Home, Country

Membership: 168,000 members, 3,000 chapters in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., International chapters in Australia, Austria,The Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom. More than 836,000 women have joined the DAR since it was founded.

Management: Policy for the Society is made by the National Board of Management composed of the President General, 11 Executive Officers, 21 Vice Presidents General, and 53 State Regents. The National Board of Management meets six times a year at DAR Headquarters in Washington, DC.

Continental Congress: The DAR annual national meeting is named after the original Continental Congress that governed the American colonies. DAR Continental Congress attracts over 3,000 members to Washington, D.C., each summer.

Become a Member

Eligibility for Membership: Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible.

Ways to learn more about DAR membership:

1) Visit the DAR web site ( to read about steps to membership and to fill out a prospective membership form,

2) Talk to local DAR chapter members in your area,

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