Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Milwaukee Bucks Won NBA Championship on Floor Made from Menominee Forest Lumber

Story by Frank Vaisvilas, Green Bay Press-Gazette

Many factors went into the Milwaukee Bucks winning the NBA championship this year, but Menominee Nation business officials believe the Tribe’s hardwood maple court had a lot to do with it.

The Bucks’ basketball court is made from lumber produced from the Menominee Forest, which provides a sustainable harvest for the Tribe’s sawmill business.

Keith Klitz is a Menominee “hand-sawer” or lumberjack employing careful techniques to target certain trees for harvesting from the Menominee Forest. Photo by Frank Vaisvilas.

“We trace every log,” said Nels Huse, marketing specialist for Menominee Tribal Enterprises, adding that every tree is carefully selected and hand cut by loggers.

When the court was installed about three years ago, Menominee Tribal citizens performed a traditional Native American blessing with drums, dancing and prayers to Mother Earth over the floor.

“We’re not just praying for the Bucks to win, but we’re also praying that the floor holds up well and that there are no injuries,” Huse said.

Read the full story here.