Funeral & Burial Services

Types of Funerals:

  • Traditional: are conducted by an elder or spiritual leader typically discussed among the family members.  Protocol is to pass Asema (tobacco) to that individual to conduct the services.  You need to set up & pay for their hotel accommodations and family can give gifts for the work they do to help their relative.  There are other instructions to prepare for a traditional funeral family will need to designate someone to speak to helpers in the community.
  • Christian: contact the priest or minister at Our Lady of the Lake (715-682-7620) or Bad River Methodist that will conduct the services.  A family member should be designated to make this arrangement.  Churches in Bad River are Catholic or Methodist.
  • Non-denomination – is a service that is conducted by an individual designated by the family to lead the service.

  • There is no cost to tribal members to reserve the space for funerals.
  • Family must contact the Facilities Administrative Assistant to reserve the space.

The Wake House located by the Bad River Cemetery is now available for funeral services. It will be the first option, unless there is another funeral service then the other options may be available.

Wake House located by Bad River Cemetery:

  • Family is responsible for setting up and taking down
  • You will need to get your own table cloths.
  • You can also bring your personal memorabilia, lamps, baskets, etc

Community Center Gym for Funerals:

Many of the items that are available at the gym have been donated by various families in the community for funerals.  They are loaned out and we ask that they be returned in order for other families to utilize.  Social Services keeps a lot of items stored if they don’t have them please ask and they may have suggestions.

  • Family is responsible for setting up and taking down the gym
  • Asema (tobacco) should be passed for the star quilts to get hung – contact Robin Powless
  • Furniture is on the stage (we suggest getting some men to get off the stage)
  • There are few tables in the gym, so please contact the Facilities Dept to request more should you need them
  • You will need to get your own table cloths.
  • You can also bring your personal memorabilia, lamps, baskets, etc
  • Floor lamps can be borrowed please contact Social Services
  • There are various vases and artificial flowers located on the stage as well for funerals (all of this has been donated by tribal members for this purpose so we ask that it be returned).
  • If you choose to use votive candles you will have to purchase the candles – there are some votive candle holders on the stage.  Candy dishes are available at social services on loan.

Housing Authority Gathering Space for Funerals:

If there is another funeral at the Wake House or if your family prefers, you can reserve the Bad River Housing Authority’s (BRHA) Gathering Space instead. You can contact the BRHA Office to reserve that space. Please visit the BRHA page here for contact information:

Tribal Assistance:

The tribal Administration Office provides a checklist of services that is offered. This checklist includes donations that may be available (funds permitting) from various tribal businesses such as: tobacco, food, etc.

If the deceased is a tribal member, funeral assistance may be requested if funds are available. Please contact the Treasurer for more information.

Cemetery Grave & Burial Services:

Family will need to locate an area at the cemetery and mark off that area.  There are designated areas within the cemetery for veterans, repatriation, and family marked areas that can not be utilized. 

Graves are dug for winter funerals especially for traditional funerals – both family members and tribal workers assist with preparing the grave.

Remind Pallbearers to put shovels in their car the day of the funeral.  Many times the pallbearers will forget their shovels.

To request burial services (digging and burying) at the Cemetery please contact the Tribal Facilities Department.

You will have to coordinate a time to meet with the Facilities team to identify the plot.

You must have the funeral home call the Facilities Team as well to coordinate services.

There is no cost to tribal members for cemetery services.

Food & Cooking

There is a kitchen located at each building.

The main feast is usually done by various cooks in the community. Family makes the decision and a family member will contact the cook.

Feast for the wake is done by a combination of family and friends. The family usually designates someone to make calls for the wake so enough food is donated for the evening. That can be a family member and or friend of the family.

Sacred Fire:

The family passes Asema (tobacco) to a head firekeeper.

The family makes sure that the firekeepers are fed and there is enough water, coffee, soda available for them.

The firekeepers have a huge responsibility to maintain a fire for the duration of the services so, make sure their needs are met.

You can call for wood at the Recycling Center

Women need to obtain the cedar for the fire.

If the women have never harvested cedar before, they should give someone sema (tobacco) when requesting instructions.

Contact Facilities/Maintenance

TitleEmailWork CellDesk Extension
Don NeveauxFacilities Managerfacilitiesmgr@badriver-nsn.gov715-292-59761516
Scott VaughnFacilities Supervisorfacilitiessupervisor@badriver-nsn.gov715-292-33991515
Lisa WhitebirdFacilities Administrative Asst.facilitiesasst@badriver-nsn.gov715-292-51521517
Chief Blackbird Center
(Administration Building)

Mailing Address:
PO Box 39
Odanah, WI 54861

Physical Address:
72682 Maple St
Odanah, WI 54861

(715) 682-7111

(715) 682-7118