Ho-Chunk Banners, Bascom Hall

Seed by Seed - Ho-Chunk
Banners on Bascom Hall

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Our Shared Future is more than a heritage marker

Our Shared Future represents UW–Madison’s commitment to respect the inherent sovereignty of the Ho-Chunk Nation and the other First Nations of Wisconsin. It is a first step that calls on each of us—faculty, staff, and students—to deeply consider our shared past and present with Indigenous peoples in this place, Teejop, and to make our own personal and institutional commitments to achieve a shared future with them.

Our Shared Future is a process, not a land acknowledgement or something to recite. It is a collective act of moving together from ignorance to awareness; an educational framework for posing questions; and an opportunity to celebrate Ho-Chunk people, as well as learn about the hard truths of our histories with them. It is a challenge to educate ourselves and each other, and create a better future together.

In October of 2021, the marker was installed in its permanent location near South Hall on Bascom Hill.

Photo of Our Shared Future marker atop of Bascom Hill
Marker text: The University of Wisconsin–Madison occupies ancestral Ho-Chunk land, a place their nation has called Teejop (day-JOPE) since time immemorial. In an 1832 treaty, the Ho-Chunk were forced to cede this territory. Decades of ethnic cleansing followed when both the federal and state government repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, sought to forcibly remove the Ho-Chunk from Wisconsin. This history of colonization informs our shared future of collaboration and innovation. Today, UW–Madison respects the inherent sovereignty of the Ho-Chunk Nation, along with the eleven other First Nations of Wisconsin.
aaron bird bear helps a child with a crayon rubbing as part of the ho chunk dedication ceremony
On June 18, 2019, Aaron Bird Bear (left), assistant dean for Student Diversity Programs, helps Demetria Abangan-Brown Eagle (right) to create a crayon rubbing on paper during a heritage marker dedication ceremony for the "Our Shared Future" plaque on Bascom Hill. The plaque makes clear that the university occupies ancestral Ho-Chunk land and will serve to educate the campus community members and campus visitors. (Photo by Bryce Richter)

Our Shared Future Efforts Mark the Beginning, Not an End

Hundreds of people attended events in the fall of 2019 related to the “Our Shared Future” heritage marker, a first step in a multi-year effort to educate the campus and the broader community on the Ho-Chunk Nation and the history it shares with the university. The spring 2020 semester brought an even greater emphasis on the marker.

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