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Ho-Chunk Nation flag flies on campus this week

October 9, 2022

The Ho-Chunk Nation flag will fly on the UW–Madison campus Oct. 10-17, in recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day on October 10.

Wisconsin first observed Indigenous Peoples Day in 2019, when Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order designating the second Monday of each October to honor Indigenous peoples.

From left to right, Madtown Singers members Michael Gilpin, UW alum and biochemistry research intern; Eli Fox Baker, student; Silas M. Cleveland Jr., student; and Michael Williams, law student, perform in a drum circle during a Ho-Chunk Nation flag raising ceremony. Photo: Althea Dotzour

A brief program was held Monday, Oct. 10, with remarks by representatives from Wunk Sheek, UW–Madison’s indigenous student organization. The Madtown Singers student drummers provided a flag song.

During the fall 2022 semester, UW–Madison is flying the Ho-Chunk Nation flag for more than six weeks, including one week in September, a week in honor of Indigenous Peoples Day in October and the entirety of National Native American Heritage month in November.

The flying of the Ho-Chunk flag at the beginning of the academic year highlights UW–Madison’s foundational relationship with the Ho-Chunk people. It is also a reminder of the ongoing commitment through the university’s Our Shared Future initiative to educate the campus community about Ho-Chunk culture and First Nations history, and to recognize the land as the ancestral home of the Ho-Chunk.

Flag raisings are part of contemporary Ho-Chunk culture. Members of the Ho-Chunk Nation regularly host flag-raising ceremonies with local governments and educational institutions to share their culture, honor veterans, and to strengthen ties across communities. In November 2021, UW–Madison raised the Ho-Chunk Nation flag for the first time.