If you want to get to the bottom of the greatest sports team in football history, we have to go back to the year 1919. But if we want to get the real roots of football, we have to dig back even deeper to the late 1890s when the Native Americans started playing football and helped shape the Packers team that we know and love today.
In 1895, a Green Bay football team was created by the experienced player and new resident Fred Hulbert. However, in its first two years of existence, it did not fare very well until 1897 when the team recruited Tom Skenandore, who was a part of the Oneida tribe. Using his experience playing football at Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, he led his team to many victories and became the town’s first paid professional athlete. This marked the beginning of an interest and involvement, from the Oneida tribe, in professional football. After a couple of years, two more Oneida tribe members would follow his lead and join the world of football. In this project, we will examine the general influence of Native American players and tribes on the early history of football in Green Bay. We will also be looking at the influence of Wisconsin Native American players on the early history of national football. We will argue that Native American players and the Oneida tribe have had a significant influence on the early stages of football in Green Bay and have continued to influence the team. We also argue that players from Wisconsin Native American tribes have had a significant influence on football at a national level in its early years.