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Native Spirit: Menominee company makes wood for Final Four

Menominee Tribal Enterprises.JPG
Posted at 9:35 PM, Apr 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-06 22:35:12-04

NEOPIT, Wis. — The Final Four doesn't have a hometown team on the court, but Wisconsin will be well represented when the teams take the floor.

Menominee Tribal Enterprises made the wood that makes the court for this year's tournament in Minneapolis.

"I think everybody had, they knew where it was going and I think they took a little more pride, and they were all excited knowing that it was going to be the flooring for the Final Four," sawmill supervisor Leroy Shawanokasic said.

The sawmill also made the wood for this year's Womens Final Four.

"Really nice. It's quite a thing to see knowing it comes from our backyard, our reservation," Shawanokasic said.

It's both a source of pride and a culmination of work.

"It didn't just start with this floor," purchasing manager Sharon Waukau said. "It started hundreds of years ago."

Waukau said it has continued today with a community always connecting with what Mother Nature gives.

"It's our life, it has been our life," Waukau said. "It's been our life for not just us currently in this generation, but it has been all the generations before."

The hope is that it will continue for generations to come, once Menominee youth see the work of this Menominee Tribal Sawmill enter the national spotlight.

"It's really remarkable," Waukau said. "It's remarkable."