Conference Host Spotlight: Our Shared Future
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:
- Artist, curator, and founding director of the Little Eagle Arts Foundation (LEAF), Melanie Tallmadge Sainz, curated the exhibit Ho-Chunk Art: Sharing our Sacred Voice through our Art at the Overture Center for the Arts, which included multiple artists.
- Besides exhibiting his own work internationally, UW-Madison photography professor Tom Jones has curated exhibitions on Ho-Chunk baskets
- The late Truman Lowe was a visual artist, curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and professor emeritus in art at UW-Madison
- The late Harry Whitehorse was a visual artist with a focus on sculpture
- Sky Hopinka is a notable filmmaker
- The Bear Clan Dancers and Singers, the Wisconsin Dells singers, and other musicians perform around the region
- Amy Lonetree wrote the book Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums and co-authored with Truman Lowe, Tom Jones, and others People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942
- Kendra Greendeer is a PhD candidate in art history with a focus on contemporary Native women artists and recently co-curated the Intersections: Indigenous Textiles in the Americas exhibition at UW-Madison
- The Ho-Chunk Nation: https://ho-chunknation.com/
- Ho-Chunk Gaming: https://www.ho-chunkgaming.com/
- Our Shared Future website: https://oursharedfuture.wisc.edu/
- People of the Big Voice – The Ho-Chunk Nation interviews with Chief Winneshiek and Jon Greendeer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2XNj3VXxOk
- Ho-Chunk History, PBS Wisconsin: https://pbswisconsin.org/watch/tribal-histories/wpt-documentaries-ho-chunk-history/
First Nations of Wisconsin/Upper Midwest:
- Wisconsin First Nations (including map of tribal lands): https://wisconsinfirstnations.org/
- The Ways (central Great Lakes): https://theways.org/
- Native American Tourism-Wisconsin: https://natow.org/
- Tribal Histories, PBS Wisconsin: https://pbswisconsin.org/watch/tribal-histories/
- All My Relations podcast: https://www.allmyrelationspodcast.com/
- Native Appropriations: http://nativeappropriations.com/
- First American Arts Magazine: https://firstamericanartmagazine.com/
- Native American Art magazine: https://www.nativeamericanartmagazine.com/
- Native Arts & Cultures Foundation: https://www.nativeartsandcultures.org/programs/fellowship-program
- Project 562 by Matika Wilbur: http://www.project562.com/