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.
Heritage 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.
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.
- Congratulatory banners part of larger effort to promote Indigenous languagesJune 2, 2021
- UW grad combines research, tribal traditions in wolf relationship planApril 30, 2021
- Native November: In new First-Year Interest Group, students connect with the land through Indigenous lensNovember 17, 2020
- UW–Madison awarded grant to develop educational pathways for Native youthSeptember 28, 2020
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