ABSTRACT

This chapter explores the experiences and stories of white people from a small farming community in northern Wisconsin. It examines how white people learn to be 'white' and reveals how white racial identity is dependent on people of color—even in situations where white people have little or no contact with racial others. Always already dreaming the nation's dreams of democracy and progress and white supremacy. Like many in the state and nation, these white people were surprised and angered when a hundred or so years after the founding of Boonendam on land taken from the Ojibwe, real people—rather than the make-believe Indians they dressed their children as for Thanksgiving programs at school or the blood-thirsty caricatures they encountered in novels and movies—real people claimed treaty rights to hunt and fish on ceded Ojibwe territory and occupied the Northern States Power Company dam, near Hayward, Wisconsin, in protest of the flooding of their wild rice beds 50 years before.