Attention Basket Makers


Attention Basket Makers

The Ho-Chunk Nation Forestry Division has a unique opportunity to obtain a few black ash logs from a parcel of State of Wisconsin (DNR) land. We would like to hear from basket makers who are interested in obtaining black ash logs specifically for basket making purposes. Contacting us does not guarantee that you will receive a log, but it is important to know how many logs are needed so we can make a formal request. The Ho-Chunk Nation Forestry Division would also like to hear ideas on how to store surplus ash logs.

For More information please contact Rural Lands Forester, Brandon Bleuer

715-284-2852 Ext.1122 or email

Seeking Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Natural Resources Board of Director Applications

The Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Natural Resources is seeking candidates to fill Board of Directors vacancies. Per the HCC § 20 the Board of Directors will serve in an advisory capacity only, not as a policy making body. The Board will also be involved in and consulting on strategic planning, development of annual goals and objectives pursuant to the Appropriations and Budget Act.

Interested Parties can review the 1HCC20 Department of Natural Resources Establishment Act for more information related to Board of Director Meetings, Terms and Director roles and responsibilities.

Please mail or email a one-page Letter of Interest and a copy of your resume to:

Tina Brown
Executive Director
Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Natural Resources
PO Box. 677
Black River Falls, WI 54615

Office 715-284-2852 | Cell 715-299-4672

All applications will be reviewed and all applicants will be notified upon selection of Board members. Selected candidates will be subject to Presidential review.

Private Property Access & Hunter Safety

Wisconsin Gun Deer Hunting Season starts this Saturday November 23rd and runs through Sunday December 1st 2019. Ho-Chunk Nation (HCN) DNR encourages all hunters to be informed in the event they wound a deer and the animal runs on to private property. The hunter must contact the land owner, prior to entering private property to retrieve a wounded animal. For permission to enter HCN land, non tribal members need to contact the Chief of Police Earl Le Mieux or HCN-DNR Executive Director Tina Brown [contact information is found at the bottom of the article]

Deer gun hunting also requires hunters to maintain the utmost discipline in safety through the use of a fire arm, and personal protection from the elements, avoid getting lost, and overall safe hunting practices.

The Ho-Chunk Nation Website (News & Updates) is an excellent resource that provides the Hunting App and the Hunting packet, showing all Ho-Chunk Nation Hunting lands.

Be Safe-Shoot Straight-Good Luck!

Contact Information:

  • HCN Chief of Police Earl Le Mieux 715-299-0398
  • HCN Department of Natural Resources Tina Brown 715-299-4672


Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Natural Resource

Ho-Chunk Museum director puts her passion into her work, readies the museum for the opening

Reported Ken Luchterhand

A Ho-Chunk museum has been in the planning stages for a few years, but now a projected opening date is near.

Museum Director Josie Lee is excited about the opportunity for opening, something she has been working diligently toward since the museum’s inception.

The building at 1108 Superior Street in Tomah is the site of the new museum, having been purchased in 2018.

“It’s a beautiful building with incredible character,” Lee said.

The building was constructed in 1891 and is one of the historic structures of Tomah. It was previously a boutique and a place for fundraisers for the Tomah Boys and Girls Club. Prior to that, it was the home of the Tomah Journal newspaper.

Next week the name of the museum is planned to be painted onto the windows.

Enough money was provided by the Ho-Chunk Nation to purchase the building, but there were issues accessing funding in order t renovate immediately after the purchase.

“It has been a long waiting game to get to this point,” Lee said.

The original goal was to open the museum a year ago at this time, but then it was moved back to July. With the administration change in the Ho-Chunk government, the process again was delayed. But now that everything has stabilized, things could get going.

Now, the goal is to open in January, with the first exhibition on Clarence Monegar, curated by Tom Jones.

Lee plans to rotate exhibits every three to four months. She is working with IT and others to create dynamic exhibits that feature videos and games as time goes on. She also hopes to have community education classes in the back room of the museum.

“It’s hard to tell the entire Ho-Chunk story in 1,000 square feet,” Lee said. “By rotating the exhibits, we can keep the displays interesting and hopefully, encourage visitors to keep returning.”

There will be no admission charge, but donations will be accepted. Eventually, advertising for the museum will be done in conjunction with casino advertising.

The work has been painstaking for Lee. She has been anxious to get the museum operational and open to the public.

“One of the obstacles to museum development is that we were waiting on a grant for renovation – which we didn’t get,” Lee said. “Thankfully, most of the work has come through volunteers and donations. We have a wonderful volunteer base. Things wouldn’t be where they are today without contributions from the community.” Eventually, as the museum process grows, she would like to have a larger staff base to expand the offerings of the museum. But for now, Lee is preparing for the public to observe and interact with Ho-Chunk stories told in our own voice in our own space.

Wisconsin Winnebago fades into history as signing of the new constitution brings on The Ho Chunk Nation

Reporter: Emma Snowball

The tribe which was once known and recognized as the Wisconsin Winnebago Nation strikes a new path into the future by changing their constitution and name.  Meet and greet the Ho Chunk Nation!

The day formerly named “Winnebago Day” sparked the beginning of a new era in the forever changing pages of history for the Ho Chunk Nation.  On Friday November 25, 1994 the new constitution became an official document as it was endorsed by President of the Ho Chunk Nation JoAnn Jones, Vice President Wilfrid Cleveland, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Ada Deer, and members of the Ho Chunk legislature.

Rainbow Bingo, one of the Ho Chunk Nation’s 22 enterprises was the site of this much celebrated historical event.  Grand preparations were made to accommodate the hundreds of people present to observe the very special day.

At 4 p.m. a reception was held in the heated tent which was located at the front door of Rainbow Bingo.  Also, free door prizes were given to everyone whose ticket number was drawn.  (Including but not limited to tribal members)

The specially prepared buffet was served inside the glass enclosed non-smoking room of Rainbow Bingo at 5:40 p.m.  Officials, Native American and non Native American were special guests of the Ho Chunk Nation.  They enjoyed and shared the meal with tribal members.

At 6:50 the ceremony began for signing of the new constitution.  Douglas Long, member of the Buffalo Clan was emcee for the day.  Remarks were given by President of the Ho Chunk Nation JoAnn Jones, Mary Natani – Member of the Constitutional Team, and Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs – Ada Deer.

President JoAnn Jones began by introducing the new Ho Chunk Legislature: Vice-President – Wilfrid Cleveland, Tracey Thundercloud, Douglas Greengrass, James Greendeer, Dallas Whitewing, Ona Garvin, Byron Thundercloud, Alvin Cloud, George Garvin, Jacob Lonetree, and Mary Ann Yazzie.  She then introduced members of the Secretarial Election Board: Greg Butterfield, Francis Decorah, Georgiann Funmaker, Ona Garvin, Jacob Lonetree, and Diane Rosen.

President Jones welcomed everyone to Rainbow Bingo, one of the Ho Chunk Nation’s 22 enterprises, and to their sovereign lands.  She also thanked everyone for their continued support.  But most especially she thanked the elders, because it was through their prayers that moved our Nation forward.  President Jones went on to thank Ada Deer for her presence on ‘Winnebago Day’ which is on a holiday weekend.  Also in attendance was James Klauser – Representative for Wisconsin Governor Thompson.

“We’ve undergone dramatic changes and this evening is a tribute to our people.  The Ho Chunk people have restored our government,” President JoAnn Jones proudly remarked. “The Ho Chunk people have established strong laws, ordinances and practices to regulate our casinos.  The Ho Chunk Nation now has better services available to our people in the areas of housing, health and education,” proclaimed the leader of the Ho Chunk Nation.

“We have produced a new and stronger constitution to protect our culture and we will be able to meet challenges of the future,” President Jones summarized with “The new constitution is a beautiful document but it is fragile.  We now face the challenge to protect and implement it’s changes.  Because it will carry us into the future as it is a road map which can and will provide direction.”

Immediately following President Jones, Mary Natani gave a brief history of the Ho Chunk Nation and how the new constitution came to be the way it is today.

  • It took 2 years to have the new constitution written the way it is now.
  • Input was received form all the communities, and it was discussed in great length.
  • The new constitution is based upon the age old concept of government by consensus.
  • The ultimate power of the government is General Council.
  • The constitution will allow for tribal courts and a police system.

Mary recounted the time when she and Ada working in Washington D.C.

“She is one tough lady,” reported Mary. “Because even as a would be mugger tried to steal her purse, Ada did not flinch.  Instead she chased and held the would be mugger until the police arrived.”

Mary further stated, “I am so thankful that I am on the same side of the political fence as Ada.”

Mary congratulated the Ho Chunk people. 

As Ada Deer began she also congratulated the Ho Chunk people.  She acknowledged her friends and acquaintances from the Ho Chunk Nation.  “The new constitution will give the Ho Chunk Nation an independent form of government with separation of powers and a system with checks and balances.

The make up of which includes General Council, Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary.  Under the new constitution, the Ho Chunk Nation will be able to establish a tribal court system and to apply laws of the tribe,” Explained Ada.

Since January 19, 1963 when the first constitution was drawn up, virtually no changes have happened with the exception of 2 amendments in 1967.  May 27, 1994 a new authorization was given to renew the constitution.

On November 1, 1994 a letter was sent to Robert Jaeger – Superintendent of the Great Lakes Agency notifying him of the approval of the new constitution for the Ho Chunk Nation.  Approval was given pursuant to authority given to the Secretary.

“You’ve changed your name from Winnebago which may have been a Chippewa word to a word from your own language – Ho Chunk,” said Ada.  She challenged the Ho Chunk Tribal Members to read, understand and honor the new constitution. “You can amend it, change it, but it is a living document by which you carry out your authority as a sovereign nation.  It’s a lot of work to be a Ho Chunk, so do your homework.  Read, understand and implement the constitution.”

Following the speeches, the new Ho Chunk Constitution was signed by President JoAnn Jones, Ada Deer, and other members of the legislature.  Staying with Ho Chunk tradition, gifts were given to special guests.  Blankets were given to several elders.  A shawl was given to Loretta Metoxen.  Ada Deer received a ‘Winnebago’ basket.  Numerous other gifts were given.

Finishing up the day’s events, honor songs were sung by the Lake Delton and Wisconsin Dells singers.  The Chief’s Song and Bear Clan Song were sung.  The Thunder Bear drum was also present.  Singing was for a short time, as winners of other raffles were announced and as most the Ho Chunk Tribal Members visited with one another and made plans to meet at the Rainbow Casino.  Arriving as Wisconsin Winnebago, leaving as Ho Chunks after the signing of the new Ho Chunk Constitution!

“It’s a lot of work to be a Ho Chunk, so do your homework. 
Read, understand and implement the constitution.” – Ada Deer

This article originally appeared in Ho-Chunk Wo-Lduk, Volume VIII, Issue 19, Early December 1994

Ho-Chunk Nation Digital Library project celebrates its third year of work

By Ardith Van Riper

The Ho-Chunk Nation Language Division along with the participants from the UW-Madison Tribal Libraries Archives and Museums (TLAM) class hosted a thank you luncheon on May 9 at the Language Division Office in Mauston. 

Their unique partnership celebrates its third year of work on the Ho-Chunk Nation Digital Library project that helps the Nation curate and use its language resources while providing the UW students with a service learning project involving an actual working collection of materials.

The success of this project is primarily due to Omar Poler, instructor of the TLAM class at UW-Madison; Janice Rice, retired UW librarian and member of the Ho-Chunk Nation; and the students from the last three spring semesters’ TLAM classes.  George Greendeer, who has previous genealogy work experience with the Nation’s Enrollment Division and co-authored People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942, was hired back in December as the Project Specialist.

TLAM is an effort at UW-Madison to bring indigenous information to library and information science education through coursework, service-learning, continuing education, community-building, networking, resource sharing, and long term partnerships with Native American cultural institutions.  The TLAM course runs every spring.

This spring, the TLAM class worked in groups on the Ho-Chunk Nation Digital Library project.  Kristen Maples, Amy Sampson, and Alicia Eldridge worked with the Ho-Chunk elders.  The elders provided translation and background information on audio and video recording for the students to include in the catalog.  These elders were Maxine Kolner, Andy Thundercloud, Georgia Lonetree, Elliott Garvin, Hope Smith, and Richard Mann.

Elders who are recorded on the audio or video reviewed to date are Kenneth Funmaker, Sr., Edward Lonetree, Jr., Corina Lonetree, Sidney Hall, Ardella Quackenbush, Bill O’Brien, Merlin Redcloud, Gordon Thunder, Annabelle Lowe, Maxine Kolner, Lila Blackdeer, Wayne Falcon, Rebecca Greendeer, Tom Hopinkah, Myron Lowe, Eugene Cloud, George Stacy, Cecil Garvin, Larry Garvin, Richard Mann, Dennis Funmaker, Sr., Chloris Lowe, Velma Lewis, Arvid WhiteEagle, Carlos Funmaker, and John Greengrass.

UW-Madison studentsAlianna Bozhardt, Alicia Eldridge, and Kristen Whitson worked on policy.  Policy included Deed of Gift form, Donor Guide, and applicable copyright and intellectual property law. 

Justin Cornille, Samantha Wolfe, and Sarah Drake worked on cataloging.  Kristen Whitson and Sarah Drake worked on scanning.  Dani Fulwilder worked on archival.

The Digital Library project began three years ago with planning on what needed to be done to catalog, digitize, and archive the Language Division’s audio, video, and written documents.  The initial steps were sorting and organizing material.  Then converting all the Nation’s audio and video recordings and scanning the hard copy written documents into digital files.

Each item is meticulously cataloged using 36 fields of keywords and descriptor details, which are being filled in as the group of students and Nation staff make their way through each item. 

Items are then uploaded to the Mukurto (MOO-koo-too) management system after the cataloging process has been completed.  This management system is where users will be able to search online and see items that are in the Language Division’s collection.  The total number of files in the catalog exceeds 1,000, and that number will be more significant when the site goes live.

“Users will be able to create an account, and then the users will be grouped into what are called communities.  They’ll be levels of access.  Depending on the type of material and subject matter, we can group people by user class group and then assign them the kind of access that we want them to have,” said Division Manager Adrienne Thunder.

“We can even change the setting so that only students and mentors from the Language Apprentice Program can access these materials or only employees of the Language Division.  There is no limit to the number of layers we can create,” said linguistics student Andrea Cudworth.

Thunder says tribal members will have specific access that the general public wouldn’t have.  Eventually, this will all go through the Language and Culture committee to determine the accessibility of the items.

The Nation benefits from having language resources made more accessible, better accounting of materials, and preservation of the original materials.  Some language resources include audio and video capturing the spoken Ho-Chunk language, children’s books in the Ho-Chunk language, photos of Ho-Chunk ancestors, Ho-Chunk dictionary, photos of Ho-Chunk crafts, Ho-Chunk language lessons, and the collection keeps growing.

The project provides valuable professional and learning experiences for UW-Madison students.

“All of us are library and information study students that means we are studying to become librarians and archivists.  I have to tell you that for me, I am in archives to do exactly what we got to do here.  This has been a very fulfilling experience,” expressed UW-Madison Graduate Student Kristen Whitson.

Project Specialist George Greendeer said, “They (students) cataloged 500 items, documents.  We were only expecting 300 for the semester because they had a lot of other stuff to do for their course study.”

The luncheon celebrating this work started with Division Manager Adrienne Thunder speaking and elder Maxine Kolner saying a prayer over the food.  Janice Rice and Andrea Cudworth were each presented with a certificate of appreciation and a blanket for their efforts on the project.

The UW-Madison students prepared the food shared with Language Division staff and honored guests at the luncheon.  The students who worked with the elders presented the elders and George Greendeer with homemade mini loaves of breads.  Staff at the Language Division office were also gifted with an Instant Pot by the UW-Madison students.

Kelly Jo Funmaker attended, representing the Office of the President, and extended gratitude to the individuals who assisted in the project. 

“I know that this one of the President’s top priority, not even for the Ho-Chunk Nation but himself also.  I know that he would be very proud and very happy with what is going on today,” said Funmaker.  

“The fact that they’ve (UW-Madison students over the past three years) not only categorized all of the material, digitized all of the material, and now we are to the point where we are starting to populate the site that’s going to developed for real use,” explains Thunder.

Some of the UW-Madison students have volunteered to return in the summer and continue their work.

Thunder says this work, as much as has been done, is only the beginning. “In the future, the Division hopes to add to the collection with contributions of materials collected by other libraries and museums, tribal and public personal collections, and the Division’s own continuing language revitalization work.”

The Nation’s Mukurtu database will house a vast collection of resources to aid us in the coming years as our Hoocak-first speaker availability declines and our new learners are adding to their knowledge and increasing their use of our language.

This article was previously published in the Hocak Worak

Mad Dog & Merrill filmed at the Neesh-La Powwow

by Ardith Van Riper

Mad Dog and Merrill were at the Neesh-La Powwow grounds on Friday, August 23 filming.  They were joined by Ho-Chunk Chef Elena Terry and prepared Indigenous foods and drink.

Mad Dog & Merrill are self-proclaimed “grillologists” and entertain thousands with the finer points of grilling.  They travel the country performing in front of live audiences and host a TV show.

“We are doing a Native American cultural series with our good friends at NATOW,” said Mad Dog.

The Ho-Chunk Nation and Native American Tourism of Wisconsin (NATOW) sponsored the event.

“NATOW works with the 11 tribes of Wisconsin to promote and market cultural tourism in a way that is sensitive to our culture and those things that we hold sacred to us,” said Apache Danforth, Tribal Tourism Development Director.

“We partner with shows like Mad Dog & Merrill.  They are a nationally syndicated show.  That is one way NATOW can promote and market events like this, things that are happening in Native Wisconsin, the powwows, and any events that are open to the public.

“We purchased four episodes of this show and we brought one here.  One is going to Bad River, the other is going to St. Croix, and at the end of September there are Treaty Days in Madeline Island. Should be fun!”

Merrill asked Elena Terry what an Indigenous Food Chef is.  She responded with, “We work on re-introducing Indigenous ingredients into daily life of our communities, not just tribal members.”

While on camera, they grilled bison steak from Oneida and prepared bison burger mixed with blueberries on a cedar plank and an alder plank.  Also on the grill were onions and peppers on a maple plank.

Merrill prepared succotash which includes beans, sweet corn, beef, and squash.  He also made some tea from fresh lemon, fresh ginger, fresh mint, strawberry, honey, and boiled water.

They aimed at preparing Indigenous foods and drink.

“Indigenous foods are ancestral foods.  Foods that are native to the land, foods that we traditionally ate,” said Terry.  “Most recently, we try to get it out there a little bit more and build stronger communities.  It just ties back into the land.”

Elena Terry started Wild Bearies and they went into a discussion about it.

“Wild Bearies is a community outreach catering company that works to reintegrate community members back into our community through food.  We are seed savers.  We grow ancestral ingredients,” explained Elena Terry.  “Then we go out and share that with our community.”

Mad Dog gifted Elena Terry with some seeds.

Public Relations Officer Forrest Funmaker stated, “The Ho-Chunk Nation had a great time working with the Mad Dog and Merrill Show.

“The Nation thanks Native American Tourism of Wisconsin for bringing the grill challenge to the Neesh-La Powwow.

“The Nation would also like to thank Elena Terry for bringing her newfound indigenous chef talents back to the Nation in her busy schedule.

“They all went above and beyond to make the show as Indigenous as possible. They also loved how well pow-wow committee and Ho-Chunk Gaming – Wisconsin Dells worked with getting all the logistics taken care of so that they can produce an off the hook show.”

The episode filmed at Neesh-La Powwow is scheduled to air Sunday, September 22 on WEAU at 10:30 AM.

This article was previously published in the Hocak Worak

Several Ho-Chunk people travel, witness Sharice take oath to Congress

By Ken Luchterhand

The Ho-Chunk people have never experienced such an honor as having one of their own, Sharice Davids, take a large role in this nation’s government.

Sharice was sworn in as a U.S. Representative in Washington D.C. on Thursday, Jan. 3.

The occasion was a historic one, mainly because she and Deb Haaland, elected in the same election cycle, are the first Native American women to be elected to Congress. Haaland is from New Mexico while Sharice is from Kansas.

To help mark and celebrate the event, many Ho-Chunk people traveled to Washington D.C. to be part of it.

A mixed drum group, known as the Hocak Singers, performed during a Congressional reception for Sharice and Deb Haaland at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hotel. The Hocak Singers included Travis Rave, Cody Winneshiek, Gabe Funmaker, Cody Greendeer Sr., Elliot Funmaker, Frank Thunder, Maynard Rave Jr., William Collins, and Jason Pettibone.

Legislators Carly Lincoln, Henu Smith, Karena Thundercloud, and Kristin WhiteEagle attended the ceremony, along with President Wilfrid Cleveland. Also Nicole Homer, Caroline Grezlick, Kelly Jo Funmaker, and Collin Price.

Many Ho-Chunk veterans made the trip as well, including Chief Clayton Winneshiek, Levi Winneshiek, Pierre Decorah, Marlon WhiteEagle, Wally Johnson, Richard Snake, Ralph Snake, and Cari Fay.

Haaland and Davids embraced on the House floor as the newly-elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi congratulated the 116th Congress.

The new Congress is composed of a record number of women (126) members of the Congressional Black Caucus (55), Latinos (42), and the first Muslim woman to serve. Davids is the first LGBT person to represent Kansas.

Many Ho-Chunk dignitaries had high praise for Sharice and what she accomplished.

“For one thing, just generally speaking, on the past election for the federal government, it was good to know that there was such a diverse group of people – in particular, women that were running for seats,” President Cleveland said. “And it was also inspiring to know that they won seats and I think it’s because of that House of Representatives is now controlled by the Democrats.

“It brings pride to Ho-Chunk Nation for her to be sitting there. She brings a lot to Ho-Chunk Nation by being able to win that seat,” he said.

Sharice’s mother, Crystal Herriage, was present at the swearing-in ceremony.

“Just doing the opposite of what my adopted parents did was a start, but I guess I did some things right,” Herriage said. “Sharice has always been able to talk with people. From the time she was in first, second, and third grade, she was always willing to hear what people had to say and a great conversationalist.

“You could talk to her about shoes, about clothes, about anything and everything – she was willing to talk to everybody. I’m glad that we are all here, it’s nice to see native people, and people that support native people. I cried when I was meeting actor Mark Ruffalo. When we get together for things like Standing Rock, getting people to come out and vote – don’t let us be silenced anymore,” Herriage said.

The actual swear-in ceremony in the House of Representatives had a limited capacity; therefore most people were not able to witness the procedure in person.

“People went over to her office to watch the swearing in which was at like 11 or 11:30 a.m. which was aired on C-span,” said Michelle Greendeer-Rave, who also went to Washington D.C. to be present for Sharice’s historic moment.

“The reception was supposed to be at the Museum of American Indians but it had closed down the night before because they ran out of money from the government shutdown. So the coordinator had to find a hotel to host this for 1,000 (Native Americans) with caterers, and you name it. They moved it all to the Marriot,” Greendeer-Rave said. “The drum group was called upon as soon as we got in the door.”

“I loved it. Although the reception started officially at 5, I don’t think Sharice got there until 8 or 9 because Congress was in session and she couldn’t get out because they were doing those really important votes,” Greendeer-Rave said. “When she and Deb did get there, the crowd just followed them, and then obviously Mark Ruffalo showed up and then the crowd jumped in. It was just a hodge-podge of many, many people.”

President Cleveland said the moment signified empowerment of the women within society. He said that the Ho-Chunk is a paternalistic tribe of people. The men are more at the forefront of things that are happening and the woman is the one who maintains the home and the core part of the family. One of the things that she does is keep the family together and make sure that things are moving, she has control in the home, I would say. Looking at how we indigenous people look at the Earth we refer to the Earth as Mother Earth and everything comes from the mother, everything that we see out here – the creation – comes from the Mother Earth.

Cleveland said that looking at it from that perspective, and then looking at the fact that so many women were elected into the House of Representatives, signifies that women have that special purpose within the creation altogether.

“They have that special passion for life, and they can reunite and fix the government the way that it’s supposed to be,” Cleveland said. “Looking at it from way back, everything that is – on the creation – even the stories that we have, the woman has a special place within the Ho-Chunk Nation.”

Veterans made the trip to honor Sharice as well, and to witness a significant change in the federal government.  One veteran, Pierre Decorah, said he was proud to be there.

“It was a privilege as well as our honor very humbled to represent our great Hocak Nation. It was as if we were honored to witness and live history,” Decorah said.

This article was previously published in the Hocak Worak

Brackeen v. Bernhardt – Court of Appeals (5th Circuit) Overturns Ruling Detrimental to Sovereignty

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the District Court’s ruling. “we conclude that… ICWA [Indian Child Welfare Act] and the Final Rule are constitutional because they are based on a political classification that is rationally related to the fulfillment of Congress’s unique obligation toward Indians; ICWA preempts conflicting state laws and does not violate the Tenth Amendment anticommandeering doctrine; and ICWA is constitutional, the BIA did not exceed its authority when it issued the Final Rule, and the agency’s interpretation of ICWA section 1915 is reasonable.”

The Fifth Circuit has previously ruled against the law, leaving some uncertainty about a broad spectrum of laws concerning Indians across the District and, if upheld, across America. The reversed ruling stated that the Indian Child Welfare Act was based upon race classification (not political classification) and was therefore unconstitutional. The ruling would have jeopardized all laws recognizing Indians as a separate and distinct political class.

The case may proceed to the Supreme Court, but for now, Indian country may herald the ruling as recognition of Tribal Sovereignty.

OPINION Reversing Dist Ct

Ho-Chunk Nation Investigates Better Employment Training Plans

Currently the Ho-Chunk Nation is facing several court cases from the previous administration concerning employment-related issues.

Management is looking to reduce costs and retain more employees

They believe training between the supervisors and the employees can be enhanced as an essential customer service function. They believe it provides respect to all employees, which is a Ho-Chunk value.