Douglas Miller

Douglas Miller was the first baby born on the reservation after the tribe was reorganized to trust land base in Bartelme. He is the son of the late Corlyss (Kie) and Lucille "Cille" (Bowman) Miller.

Doug’s first year at school was in Sturgeon Bay where most families from the Res moved for employment in the shipyards during the war years. Doug completed his early education to the 6th grade at the Stockbridge Indian School on the Reservation. At this time the Tribal school was closed and all Indian students were transferred to the Bowler Public School. Doug graduated from Bowler High School. Doug went to Milwaukee for employment after graduation.


Doug married Chenda Gardner at the Mission in Red Springs. Together, They have 6 children Kay, Mel, Fran, Loren, Gwen, and Myla. They all live on the Res except Kay in Alaska and Gwen in Kimberly. Doug and Chenda have been married for 47 years and have 6 grandchildren, 3 step grandchildren, and 1 great-grandson.


As a child, Doug enjoyed attending school and other activities on the Res including movie night, talent shows at the school gym. Also when Doug was young prior to his family moving to Sturgeon Bay they had a store and gas station selling groceries, household goods, candy, and ice cream on the Res. " I think I was my folks best customer for candy and ice cream." Said Doug. When Doug was still in High School, He got to play drums with the Menominee Indian Band. The band was designated by the Governor as the Wisconsin Centennial band and attracted some of the best musicians in the state. One summer the band traveled all around the state to parades and centennial events. Doug felt privileged to hear and play with great musicians; some that have played professionally with many of the Jazz and Swing bands of the 30’s and 40’s. Doc Litizen from Gresham, who delivered many babies on the Res was a good trumpet player and sometimes played with the Menominee band. The musicians and their music that Doug was involved with back than resulted in life-long interest Jazz.

Today, Doug enjoys doing things with their kids and grandkids and tries to attend and encourage all their school activities especially in music and sports. Doug also enjoys attending Jazz festivals around the country, meeting some of the old Jazzmen and occasionally singing with a good Jazz band. Doug has helped to arrange for live Jazz music at several tribal functions including Elderly, Pine Hills, North Star Casino, and area church services. From past association with Jazz musicians, Doug would sometime like to promote a Jazz festival on the Res.


After marriage, 6 children, and various work experience in Milwaukee, Doug went back to school full time at age 35 to obtain a 2-year degree. After returning to the Res, Doug was employed as Liaison Councilor at Bowler Public School for 9 years. Attending summer school at U.W. Stout 5 successive years during that period. Doug has held various employment positions with the tribe including Director of Tribal Employment and Training Programs (CETA/JTPA) 12 years, Director of Tribal Housing, and Development Planner, and finally retiring.


"The youth today have many greater choices, opportunities and responsibilities. They must remember we are all responsible for our own actions and the choices we make. Always stay close to God. Talk to him through prayer and don’t forget to listen."