Left: Jon Greendeer, executive director of Ho-Chunk Nation Cultural Heritage, will co-moderate the workshop and lead the afternoon session; Right: Collin Price, of the Ho-Chunk Nation Office of the President, is the workshop's keynote speaker. (Submitted photos)
Left: Jon Greendeer, executive director of Ho-Chunk Nation Cultural Heritage, will co-moderate the workshop and lead the afternoon session; Right: Collin Price, of the Ho-Chunk Nation Office of the President, is the workshop's keynote speaker. (Submitted photos)

Due to the strong interest in a workshop on Native American history sponsored last year by the St. Lucas Historical Society, the Society is holding a follow-up “Workshop on the Native American Presence: Past, Present and Future” Wednesday, June 20, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the German American Museum in St. Lucas.

The Workshop includes several noteworthy presentations and cultural exhibitions from the Ho-Chunk Nation, the Ojibwe Nation, the Museum display and private collection exhibits.

Keynote: Collin Price, Ho-Chunk Nation Office of the President
The keynote address will be delivered by Collin Price of the Ho-Chunk Nation Office of the President. Price will speak on “The Ho-Chunk Nation: Perseverance and Resiliency.” The Ho-Chunk Nation today consists of over 8,000 members, mostly in Wisconsin but some in neighboring states like Iowa and Minnesota.

Price, who is a key part of the Ho-Chunk leadership team for public relations outreach, states, “The tribe has many unique challenges that require creative solutions and meaningful relationships to achieve our goals.”

Morning speakers
• Katherine McCarville, professor of geology at Upper Iowa University, Fayette, will present “Geology and Human Habitation in the Upper Mississippi River Valley.” McGarville leads student courses with extensive field studies and analysis of NE Iowa terrain.
• Lara Noldner, the director of bio-archaeology at the Office of the State Archaeologist at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, will present “Early Occupation of Northeast Iowa and the Protections Afforded to Burial Sites and Ancient Human Remains.”
• Cynthia Peterson, archaeologist with the US Army Corps of Engineers at Rock Island, Ill., will address “Ho-Chunk Gardens, Villages, Camps and More: National Register of Historic Places Archaeological Sites in Iowa.” Peterson has done extensive field research on the Indian Sub Agency on the Turkey River located about two miles northeast of St. Lucas.

Ho Chunk Nation cultural exhibit

During the luncheon break, attendees can view the Ho-Chunk Nation cultural exhibition from Black River Falls, Wis., the Museum’s Native American collection, and prehistoric and historic artifact collections of local private collectors, many of museum quality. The St. Francis Solanus Mission School at the Lac Courte Oreilles Indian Reservation of the village of Reserve, Wis., staffed by the School Sisters of St. Francis of Milwaukee, is providing an Ojibwe cultural exhibit and authentic Ojibwe craft items for sale.

Afternoon speakers

• Jon Greendeer, the executive director of Ho-Chunk Nation Cultural Heritage, will lead off the afternoon session, with his insights on “Experiencing the Ho-Chunk Nation: From a Ho-Chunk Perspective.” Greendeer has served as Ho-Chunk Nation president and is a student of Ho-Chunk language and traditional ways of life.
• La Raw Maran, former anthropology professor, University of Illinois-Champaign, will speak about “Past, Present and Future of Ethnic Peoples.” Maran has great insight into the similar challenges facing the ethnic identities of Native Americans, German Americans and other ethnic groups.
• Russ Baldner, an accomplished historian and archaeologist will present on “Prehistoric Petroglyphs in Northeast Iowa”. Baldner is in the process of publishing a three-part article on his field research in the journal of the Iowa Archaeology Society.
• Tereasa Lenius, an independent scholar, will present on her research on “Winnebago (now Ho-Chunk) Chief Whirling Thunder: Uncovering his Life and Legend.” Chief Whirling Thunder was the lead figure in the Winnebago clan near Waucoma in Fayette County.

Final session: Oral historians
The final session will include local oral historians with knowledge of encounters with Winnebago Indians in this area in the mid 20th Century. Invited to share their stories are: Norbert Hackman, Adrian Kuennen, Clarence Kuennen, Myles Kupka, Ruth Huber Pavlovec and Helen Huber Langreck. Richard Jensen, of Elgin, will share his experiences as a Ho-Chunk growing up and living in this area.

Mid-afternoon field visit: Indian Sub-Agency Site

The workshop will include a midafternoon field visit (by private cars) to the historic Indian Sub-Agency site near the Turkey River two miles northeast of St. Lucas. Terry Landsgaard, Upper Iowa University, will lead the discussions at the Indian Sub-Agency and nearby historic living sites and burial grounds. Cynthia Peterson, US Army Corps of Engineers, and Al Becker, local historian, will be assisting with the field visit.

“Ho-chunk Nation tribal leadership looks forward to participating to help increase public awareness of their long and difficult journey over the past two centuries and the challenges and opportunities facing their Nation today, Price said. “The speakers can help us increase our awareness and understanding of the past and the future.”

More information
Jon Greendeer, executive director of Ho-Chunk Nation Cultural Heritage, and Clair Blong, president of the Sr. Lucas Historical Society, will serve as co-moderators of the Workshop.

“We are very excited about the high caliber of speakers and their desire to share about the Native American presence in this region during the prehistoric and historic periods and the contemporary challenges and opportunities of the Ho-Chunk Nation and its members,” Greendeer and Blong note.

Participants are asked to make a free will donation to help defray the workshop costs including luncheon and refreshment expenses, printing of materials, necessary audio-visual equipment and related workshop expenses. For attendance and luncheon planning purposes, RSVP by registering at stlucasmuseum.org.

For further information about the Society, the Museum and newsletters, see the materials at stlucasmuseum.org.