Lac Courte Oreilles elder remembers Birkie founder Tony Wise

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by Nick Vander Puy
Reserve, Wisconsin (LCOTV)

Years ago John "Littlebird" Anderson from Lac Courte Oreilles  worked  for Tony Wise at the native village Historyland in Hayward, Wisconsin.  Wise was an entrepreneur and visionary who built Mt. Telemark ski resort and founded the American Birkebeiner ski resort in 1973 twenty miles north in Cable,Wisconsin. 

According to John Anderson, Wise was one of the few businessmen, back then, who hired Indians. And Indians skied for free at Mt. Telemark.

Wise hosted pow-wows, learned the Ojibwa language, and supported cultural preservation. 

John 'Littlebird" Anderson remembers Tony Wise.

"Tony Wise loved the sound of the drum and the songs." 

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