About the Artist - James F. Frechette, Jr.
Na:tamowekow-He Helps Someone, People
Born on the Menominee reservation, James F. Frechette, Jr. grew to young adulthood there, the
limits of his world the Menominee Nation. As a child
and in his early teens, he knew many of the traditional crafts people in his tribe and drank in the stories,
legends, and ancient lore of the Menominee, often at their feet as they retold the traditions in the time
immemorial manner. At the same time, he observed the craft life of the elders and from time- to
time acquired principles and techniques from them.
After World War II, service in the Marine Corps and later in the civil service of the federal government
took him away from home. He returned from time to time, and upon retirement has lived in Rhinelander where
he devotes his energies to the art of the Menominee, especially the Little People. The photo on this page
shows James F. Frechette with the Great Silvery White Bear. The carving is on permanent display at the
College of Menominee Nation College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin.
His characteristic quality is authenticity found in the accurate depiction of the legends, lore, and
traditions of his tribe and in the minute details of the figures he carved from Menominee white pine and
decorates in acrylic.
Mr. Frechette has been recognized as a significant artist whose work has been purchased and commissioned by
museums and collectors, including the National Indian Collection of The Department of Interior, Washington,
D.C. He was one of the few Menominee who practiced the traditional methods and who also had knowledge
of the Menominee clans.
The symbol used on all of the pages is the actual Menominee Signature of
James F. Frechette, Jr.
Some of the graphics used on this site were custom designed and drawn by Mr. Frechette.