Born on December 25, 1889, in a traditional Ojibwe wigwam along the shores of what was once known as Dry Lake (now called Bishop Lake), Chief Willard Ackley is said to have been one of the last born into the old ways of the Sokaogon.
“The thing about Chief Ackley is, he wasn’t voted in as Tribal Chairman,” said Fred Ackley, Jr., Chief Ackley’s nephew, in 2015. “He was chosen by the people the old way – he came to us down through heaven, through the sky, and was put here as an Ogema (Chief).”
Chief Ackley is well known across Wisconsin and beyond. He worked tirelessly to help the people. “He spent much of his life fighting to establish the Mole Lake reservation. He saw what was happening to Indian people here. He saw how his people were forced to move off their land,” Fred said.