UW-Madison raises Ho-Chunk Nation flag at Bascom Hall

The Ho-Chunk Nation flag was raised atop UW-Madison's Bascom Hall Friday.
The Ho-Chunk Nation flag was raised atop UW-Madison's Bascom Hall Friday.(UW-Madison)
Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 7:49 AM CDT|Updated: Nov. 5, 2021 at 6:11 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The University of Wisconsin-Madison raised the Ho-Chunk Nation flag above Bascom Hall Friday for the first time in the college’s history.

A spokesperson for the university noted the flag-raising is part of an ongoing commitment to educate the campus community about the Ho-Chunk Nation’s history and to recognize the land as the ancestral home of the Ho-Chunk Nation.

The flag was be raised at 10 a.m. Friday. This was also be the first time in UW-Madison’s history that it flies any nation’s flag for a day alongside the U.S. and Wisconsin flags.

UW-Madison will raise the Ho-Chunk Nation flag above Bascom Hall

Chancellor Rebecca Blank was in attendance at the event to welcome members of the Ho-Chunk Nation, including Vice President Karena Thundercloud, the Wisconsin Dells Singers and members of Sanford WhiteEagle Legion Post 556.

“Thousands of years before Europeans arrived here, the place we now call Bascom Hill was a sacred place for the Ho-Chunk people. They made this their home,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank said. “For many years, UW–Madison was not mindful of this history, and we paid little attention to our relationship with the descendants of those who were here long before us. But we are working to change that.”

Thundercloud shared history of the Ho-Chunk nation at the event and how this moment will influence conversation.

“This flag raising will enhance the conversation — as Chancellor Blank said while dedicating the heritage marker in 2019 — that moves us from ignorance to awareness,” Thundercloud explained.

Jacquelyn Stacy, who is a student at Northland College and a member of the Ho-Chunk nation, described the flag-raising as a “monumental moment.”

“We are standing today on Ho-Chunk land, and it is important that UW–Madison acknowledges that,” said Stacy. “My hope is that other campuses will do this.”

Director of Tribal Relations for UW–Madison Aaron Bird Bear gave remarks and the invocation was delivered by Ho-Chunk Traditional Chief Clayton Winneshiek.

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