Indigenous Peoples

Jürgen Fälchle / stock.adobe.com

Coronavirus cases among Native Americans in Wisconsin have tripled since Sept. 1 as the state continues to grapple with the pandemic.

The state Department of Health Services reported 59 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one new death among Native Americans in Wisconsin on Wednesday. That raised the group's totals to 2,333 confirmed cases and 23 deaths since the pandemic began, a huge jump from the 775 confirmed cases among Wisconsin Native Americans since Sept. 1.

Photo courtesy of "Sisters Rising"

Four out of 5 Native women have experienced violence in their lives. Native women are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than all other American women. One out of 3 Native women report having been raped — over 80% of the time, it's by non-Native men.

The terrible fact that attributes to this: people exploit gaps in tribal authority. Native women have no legal protection for domestic violence committed on tribal lands, particularly if it’s done by a non-Native man.

New Africa / stock.adobe.com

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 5 women report having experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner, or IPV, in their lifetime.

Captain Samual Eastman / National Library of Medicine / Wikimedia Commons

We recently covered how the Oneida Nation Wisconsin is turning to indigenous agricultural practices to put food on the table during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ukwakhwa

The coronavirus pandemic has a lot of us rethinking the ways we put food on the table. For the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, that has meant a return to traditional farming practices.

Instead of tilling soil and planting seeds in rows the European way, many indigenous groups in the Milwaukee area planted native crops like corn, squash, and beans in a grid of soil mounds. Sometimes they bury fish in the mounds to act as a natural fertilizer.

Courtesy of WisEye

Forest County Potawatomi Community Chairman Ned Daniels, Jr. made several key points, as he gave the 16th annual State of the Tribes address Tuesday afternoon at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison.  Most, but not all, of the points seemed to draw bi-partisan support from the audience in the State Assembly chambers.  

That audience included Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Atty. Gen. Josh Kaul, other state officials, leaders of Wisconsin's ten other federally-recognized tribes, and nearly all 132 members of the State Assembly and State Senate.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM/Flickr

When you look at a map of Wisconsin, it’s covered in names that remind us of this country’s original inhabitants. Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, Waukesha, Kinnickinnic — all words derived from Native American languages.

Another is Oconomowoc, about 30 miles west of Milwaukee. This week’s Bubbler Talk questioner, Jeff Dittel, moved there about two and a half years ago.

Teran Powell

With street names like Winnebago and villages such as Mukwonago, there's no denying the historical presence of Native Americans in Wisconsin.

That spurred one of our listeners to reach out to Beats Me:

"What groups of Indigenous people lived in southeastern Wisconsin?"

We're going to answer that question. But we're also going to explore the importance of not just talking in the past tense when it comes to Native Americans.

Teran Powell

Pow wows date back hundreds of years. These celebrations of native culture and traditions bring native people together to sing, dance and drum in honor of their heritage.

The tradition continues right here in Milwaukee, and they're not just for native people to enjoy.

I went to the 15th Annual Hunting Moon Pow Wow that took place recently at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee. It's a three-day competition that includes dancing, drumming and singing.

UWM Professor Chris Cornelius On Indigenous Architecture, 'Built Environments'

Oct 24, 2019
Paul Higgins / Milwaukee Magazine

Architect and UWM professor Chris Cornelius sees architecture as a production of culture and the backdrop of our lives. An enrolled member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, his work focuses on his American Indian roots and how cities act as a built environment with its architecture.

Teran Powell

Gov. Tony Evers has declared the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day in Wisconsin — the day federally recognized as Columbus Day. The state joins a growing list of others, such as Minnesota and New Mexico, that have chosen to celebrate native peoples instead.

Courtesy of Milwaukee Magazine

Native American tribes have been living in Wisconsin for tens of thousands of years, but much has changed since they first settled in this area. Through decades of forced assimiliation into white-American culture, Native American cultures were suppressed.

Screenshot/WisconsinEye

The chairman of the Oneida Nation called on the state Tuesday to work with Wisconsin's tribes in addressing climate change, Indian mascots and the opioid crisis. Oneida Chairman Tehassi Hill spoke to a crowd that included both houses of the Legislature, Gov. Tony Evers and members of the state Supreme Court.

Hill says conditions have improved for Wisconsin tribes in some areas — including unemployment and household income since the last U.S. census was taken. But he says, tribal members continue to struggle with opioid addiction, and it's taking a toll.

Teran Powell

The presence of Native American people in Wisconsin dates back thousands of years — before any of us knew America's Dairyland to be what it is today. But as the population decreased, so did the prevalence of its languages.

However, places like the Indian Community School (ICS) in Franklin, Wis., are continuing to move the culture forward and keep the languages current with biweekly language courses.

Native American Artists Honor & Provide A Contemporary Take On Their Traditions

Mar 6, 2019
Bonnie North

Native American art has not often been characterized as such by the non-Native American world. From intricately-beaded clothing to ceramics to jewelry, the artworks that native peoples here created, and continue to create, are often found in the craft or perhaps the folk art areas of museum exhibitions. 

Wisconsin Historical Society

There’s a creative new way for Native American students to learn about their culture thanks to a coloring book series on Ojibwe traditions, which is by a Wisconsin author. Writer and illustrator Cassie Brown hopes her coloring book will prevent Native American kids from experiencing what she did.

Brown grew up in the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwe Community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She says she never saw much representation of American Indian culture in her schools — and it was painful.

When Star Ames was a child there was a flood. The streets were like rivers and the houses like islands. It was 1960 and the village of Odanah, Wis. was up to its neck.

The town had been built on the banks of the Bad River, in the floodplain. "I remember watching the river come up," Ames says. "Every place we thought was high enough, the water kept coming up."

A major event on the world sports stage is happening right now.  38 countries, from Australia to the United States to Romania are represented.  We are not, however, talking about the Winter Olympics.  The Roller Derby World Cup is going on right now in Manchester, in the United Kingdom. 

Jacob Cimino, flickr

There is disagreement in Wisconsin over how to handle some Native American burial mounds. At odds are tribal representatives and business owners.

For months, a special state panel has been working on legislation to make everyone happy. Committee members submitted their final votes on Friday.

Ed Bierman / Flickr

Marquette University just launched the Josiah A. Powless Scholarship - a fund that will help Native American students and other underrepresented minorities afford tuition at the prestigious university.

But according to Marquette Provost, Dr. Daniel Meyers, the fund is also symbolic of Marquette’s dedication to creating a more welcoming campus.

Wisconsin History Press

    

The Potawotomi tribe recently announced it has dropped the word "bingo" from its casino complex in Milwaukee, which will soon include a hotel. 

While gambling is a huge industry for several Native American tribes in Wisconsin, it was bingo that for years was the heart of Indian gaming here.  And its origins had relatively modest goals. 

Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin

Earlier this week, Governor Scott Walker called for a meeting with the leaders of Wisconsin’s 11 Indian tribes to discuss plans for a Menominee casino in Kenosha.

Spear Fishing
Wolfgang Hoffmann

Tribal leaders in Wisconsin have been unhappy with state leaders for relaxing mining standards and approving a wolf hunt. Now tensions have emerged over spear fishing.

The subject of Indian school mascots will pop up again on Wednesday. The former Legislature approved a law requiring school districts to remove Indian logos, if they offend any residents. To keep the logo, the district must prove to the Department of Public Instruction that the name and caricature are not offensive. On Wednesday, a Waukesha County judge is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the mandate. Two Mukwonago residents are contesting it. They claim it’s vague and that the state violated their rights by not giving notice of a hearing. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson visited Mukwonago High School, which has been given more time to remove its Indians logo and nickname.