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File #: 40843    Version: 1 Name: Affirming and proclaiming that the fourth Friday of November be known as Ho-Chunk Day.
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 11/16/2015 In control: COMMON COUNCIL
On agenda: 11/22/2016 Final action: 11/22/2016
Enactment date: 11/28/2016 Enactment #: RES-16-00841
Title: Affirming and proclaiming that the fourth Friday of November be known as Ho-Chunk Day.
Sponsors: Denise DeMarb, Paul R. Soglin, Michael E. Verveer, Marsha A. Rummel, David Ahrens, Samba Baldeh, Shiva Bidar, Sheri Carter, Maurice S. Cheeks, Mark Clear, Sara Eskrich, Tim Gruber, Amanda Hall, Barbara Harrington-McKinney, Rebecca Kemble, Steve King, Larry Palm, Matthew J. Phair, Paul E. Skidmore, Zach Wood, Ledell Zellers
Date Ver.Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsWatch
11/22/20161 COMMON COUNCIL Adopt Under Suspension of Rules 2.04, 2.05, 2.24, and 2.25Pass Action details Meeting details Not available
11/14/20161 Council Office RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL TO ADOPT UNDER SUSPENSION OF RULES 2.04, 2.05, 2.24, & 2.25 - MISC. ITEMS  Action details Meeting details Not available

Fiscal Note

No appropriation required.


Affirming and proclaiming that the fourth Friday of November be known as Ho-Chunk Day.


WHEREAS, the Ho-Chunk people are descendants of the effigy mound builders, ca AD 700-1100, and are the aboriginal inhabitants of the Madison region, known to the Ho-Chunk as “Te Jop e ja” (The Four Lakes). They always lived on this land, which was theirs only for safe keeping, and to take from it only as needed; and,


WHEREAS, effigy mounds were found in neighboring states of Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois but not in the large clusters found in Southern Wisconsin; and,


WHEREAS, oral tradition and historic documents describe the Ho-Chunk as a large and populous tribe of 10,000 that occupied more than 10 million acres of land in much of Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois; and,


WHEREAS, Jean Nicolet (Nicollet) de Belleborne was the first known European explorer to cross Lake Michigan into Wisconsin in 1634, who became the French ambassador to the Ho-Chunk people; and,


WHEREAS, the years following Nicolet’s voyage found great losses in the Ho-Chunk population, reduced at its lowest point to only 500, the Ho-Chunk of the 1650s were not the same power they had been and were unable to withstand the wholesale invasion of their homeland; and,


WHEREAS, warfare and foreign diseases disseminated the tribe by the late 17th century, with the population rebounding by the late 18th century, and by the early 19th century the Four Lakes region once again became the hub of Ho-Chunk activity, returning to the homeland of their ancestors, the effigy mound builders; and,


WHEREAS, the heart of the effigy mound region is around the present-day City of Madison, in the Four Lakes Mound District which covers the four principal lakes of Mendota, Monona, Waubesa and Kegonsa, wherein notable buildings were built and erected through the digging up and destroying of effigy mounds; and,


WHEREAS, in 1829, according to a census there were 598 Ho-Chunk people living around the lakes; and,


WHEREAS, on December 2, 1829, President John Quincy Adams, presented the Ho-Chunk with the first treaty for ceding vast amounts of mineral-rich land wanted by the white settlement; and,


WHEREAS, beginning in 1849, the federal government began a series of attempts of forcible removals, the Ho-Chunk were rounded up and put into boxcars to move the Ho-Chunk from their Wisconsin territory to Iowa, then Minnesota, still later to South Dakota and finally in Nebraska, leading to mistrust and conflict with a dominant government society; and,


WHEREAS, the Ho-Chunk returned on foot to Wisconsin to live as refugees on their former homelands, and in 1875, those in Wisconsin were allowed to settle on lands that were not wanted and are the only tribe in Wisconsin for whom no reservation was ever formally established; and,


WHEREAS, in 1887, with the General Allotment Act, the shift changed from isolation to assimilation and acculturation, along with the establishment of day and boarding schools to educate Indian children either by mission or Federal schools, believing that education would quickly resolve the “Indian Problem”, the Indian child was forced either to forget language and culture and become a white Anglo or to repudiate the advantages of Anglo culture in order to remain Indian; and,


WHEREAS, the Congress of the United States enacted the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934, as amended, 25 U.S.C. §461 et seq. (“IRA”); and,


WHEREAS, the Ho-Chunk Nation is a federally recognized Indian Tribe organized under Section 16 of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, 25 U.S.C. §476; and,


WHEREAS, on November 1, 1994, the Secretary of the Interior approved a new Constitution for the Ho-Chunk Nation, formerly known as the Wisconsin Winnebago Tribe; and,


WHEREAS, the Ho-Chunk Nation is a federally recognized Indian tribe, possessing inherent sovereign powers by virtue of self-government and democracy; and,


WHEREAS, Ho-Chunk representatives have demonstrated collaborative and relationship building by developing and maintaining contacts with city officials and nurturing positive relationships with the public and private sectors; and,


WHEREAS, the Ho-Chunk people demonstrate their way of life, goodwill and social responsibility to their homeland and all its residence in welcoming people to their homeland for centuries,


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Madison recognizes the historical trauma and how it still reverberates today, so that healing can take place and progress can be made; and,


BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Mayor and Common Council of the City of Madison do hereby affirm and proclaim that the fourth Friday of November be known as Ho-Chunk Day.