Conference Host Spotlight: Our Shared Future

a2ru News, Arts and Equity, Member News

Oct 14, 2020

As the University of Wisconsin-Madison virtually welcomes a2ru members this week as the hosts of this year’s National Conference, it acknowledges and recognizes that the university, the City of Madison, and the region occupy ancestral Ho-Chunk land. The Hoocąkra (the Ho-Chunk people) have called Teejop (Four Lakes) home since time immemorial but were forced to cede the land to the United States in a treaty signed on September 15, 1832. The treaty was signed under duress—without free, prior, and informed consent—and began more than forty years of attempted ethnic cleansing when soldiers and many settlers repeatedly used violence and threats to force the Ho-Chunk from Wisconsin. These campaigns did not succeed, and the Ho-Chunk continued to return to Wisconsin. Including the Ho-Chunk Nation, there are currently 12 Native Nations within the boundary lines of Wisconsin.

Along with 51 other universities across the nation, UW-Madison benefited from the Land Grant College Act of 1862, or the Morrill Act, which impacted about 250 different tribal nations, bands, and communities through violence backed treaties and land seizures. We encourage you to learn more about the Morrill Act, the sovereign nations in your region, and the indigenous lands that your university and community occupy.

In recent years, UW-Madison has been working with members of the Ho-Chunk Nation to educate others about their history including the First Nations Cultural Landscapes Tour organized by Aaron Bird Bear and Omar Poler, the Our Shared Future website, the Native Nations at UW website, and educational exhibits and programs on campus.


There is a rich history of Ho-Chunk visual and performing artists, filmmakers, curators, and writers in the region:

Selected Resources:

Ho-Chunk Specific:

First Nations of Wisconsin/Upper Midwest: