Wisconsin Experience and Our Shared Future Heritage Marker Grants

In 2020, the Educational Innovation (EI) Initiative provided modest grants following annual themes to enable new learning opportunities in courses. This particular EI grant opportunity was intended to support academic units as they incorporate the Our Shared Future Heritage Marker, and what it symbolizes, into learning experiences for UW–Madison students. Typical grants were approximately $8,000.

Background and Purpose

The recently dedicated Our Shared Future Heritage Marker acknowledges the “hard but crucial truths”[1] concerning the historical relationship between the Ho-Chunk people and the United States, and how the University of Wisconsin-Madison came to occupy what had long been Ho-Chunk land. This “difficult and complicated history”[2] embeds opportunities for a broad range of learning opportunities about the Ho-Chunk people including their culture, the sacredness of this land to them, and interactions between them and the state and federal governments.

The goal of this grant opportunity is to spark learning and deepen understanding about the Ho-Chunk Nation through meaningful learning experiences embedded in the Wisconsin Experience. The Wisconsin Experience is UW-Madison’s vision for the total student experience, which combines learning in and out of the classroom, with students engaging in four key areas of intellectual and personal growth: empathy and humility; relentless curiosity; intellectual confidence; and purposeful action.

[1] From Ho-Chunk Nation President Wilfrid Cleveland during the dedication of the Heritage Marker at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, June 18, 2019.
[2] From Chancellor Blank during the dedication of the Heritage Marker at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, June 18, 2019.

2020 Grant Recipients

  • College of Agricultural & Life Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • Gender and Women’s Studies, Dept. of
  • German, Nordic, and Slavic, Dept. of; and Religious Studies, Dept. of
  • Information School
  • Law School
  • Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
  • School of Human Ecology
  • School of Pharmacy

Learning Goals

  • Widen the historical and cultural lens on the experiences of Indigenous people, potentially addressing one of a broad array of experiences that align with disciplinary specialties within schools/colleges including agriculture practices, technology, and others.
  • Strengthen understanding of human cultures, focused by engagement with big questions and community based learning coursework.
  • Cultivation of personal and social responsibility, anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges.
  • Deepen knowledge of the impact of indigenous populations on our understanding of engineering, data science, agricultural practices, mathematical science, etc.
  • Build contemporary understanding of the place we occupy here on campus and our surrounding community.
  • Deepen our understanding of how the Native history of our community came to be erased from its landscape and collective memory.
  • Analysis of multiple dimensions of social identity and how those dimensions impact our own and others’ experience at UW-Madison.
  • Prepare students for life and careers in an increasingly multicultural U.S. environment, add breadth and depth to the university curriculum, and improve the campus climate.
  • Understand the impacts of colonization on local ecologies, bodies and health.