aerial image of campus showing lakes and with a message: How we come to be where we are: Treaties

Join us for a conversation with the Ho-Chunk Nation's leading legal experts to examine how treaties shape the land and our lives.

Treaty Day 2021

Treaties: How we come to be where we are

Join us for a free, live virtual roundtable discussion to learn about treaties, the most important documents in any community, and how our ongoing nation-to-nation agreements with the Ho-Chunk Nation are fundamental to daily life here at Teejop (day-JOPE), the place currently known as Madison, Wisconsin. We are all Treaty People. Let’s learn why.


Photo of Jo Deen B. LoweJo Deen B.Lowe, Chief Judge, Ho-Chunk Nation Trial Court (Moderator)

Jo Deen B. Lowe has served as the Chief Judge at the Ho-Chunk Nation trial court since 2012.  Prior to that she was in-house counsel for a number of tribes, and worked at the Great Lakes Intertribal Council focusing on economic development and planning  matters.  She has served as the district attorney for Jackson County, Wisconsin; she was the first Attorney General for the Ho-Chunk Nation, and is an alumna of Wisconsin Judicare’s Indian Law Unit.  Lowe is a 1985 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School.  She lives at the Indian Mission near Black River Falls on a tract of land that sustains a cottonwood tree that was planted in 1886 when her coka (grandfather) was born.

JoAnn Jones, Associate Judge, Ho-Chunk Nation Trial Court

The Honorable JoAnn Jones is a 1986 graduate of the UW-Madison School of Law. She previously earned a Master’s degree in Social Work and a BA in Political Science and Social Work from UW-Madison.  Judge Jones is in her second elected term as a Ho-Chunk Nation Trial Court Judge.  She was the first female President of the Ho-Chunk Nation and has been active in national-tribal-state issues and matters involving tribal sovereignty.

Wendi Huling, Senior Tribal Counsel, Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Justice

Attorney Huling is an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. She received her B.A. from Mt. St. Clare College in Liberal Arts with the emphasis in Psychology and Sociology.  She is a 2001 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School. She has been working for the Ho-Chunk Nation since graduation.  Her areas of practice are Federal Indian Law, Labor and Employment Law, Probate and Estates, Trust and Investment, Civil Rights Law and civil litigation.   Attorney Huling is licensed with Western and Eastern District of Wisconsin, U.S 7th Circuit of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.  She has four children and ten grandchildren.

Photo of Michelle Greendeer-RaveMichelle Greendeer-Rave, Tribal Attorney, Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Justice

Michelle Greendeer-Rave is an alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in History and holds a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School, Class of 1998.  She is married, has five children, and owns an equine sports facility and boarding stables in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. She has worked for the Ho-Chunk Nation as an in-house Tribal Attorney since 1998.


What is Treaty Day?

In a treaty signed on September 15, 1832, the Ho-Chunk nation ceded Teejop (Four Lakes) to the United States. It may be the most significant day in our community’s history. The treaty is a foundational document for everyone; it’s what allows non-Ho-Chunk people to reside in Madison today.

But for the Ho-Chunk it had a very different significance. It was signed under duress—without free, prior, and informed consent—and required them to leave Teejop. The treaty began more than forty years of attempted ethnic cleansing when soldiers and many settlers repeatedly used violence and threats to force the Ho-Chunk from Wisconsin.

These campaigns did not succeed. The Ho-Chunk people’s love for this land, its waters, and their ancestors could not be broken by treaties and violence. Guided by leaders such as Wakanjaxeriga (Roaring Thunder, also known as “Dandy”) and Hotakawinga (Mary Crane), many Ho-Chunk either refused to leave Wisconsin or quickly returned.

On Treaty Day, we consider the world the Treaty of 1832 made and re-made. It’s an opportunity to learn together about our ongoing legal agreement with Ho-Chunk people and their odyssey of creativity and resilience. Every September, we begin our academic journey together by asking how this history informs our present and shared future.

Wednesday, September 29 at 6pm
If you were unable to attend the event, we invite you to watch the recording.


Learning together

Every September, the university community begins the academic journey by asking how treaties inform and shape the present and shared future.

This year we welcome some of the Ho-Chunk Nation’s foremost legal experts for a conversation that offers fundamental perspectives on the significance of treaties on the everyday lives of all who live, study, and work in Teejop. All four experts are alumni of UW-Madison.

The perspectives of the esteemed panel will ignite conversations and learning opportunities that will continue throughout the academic year and beyond.

The discussion will be recorded for use in future classroom discussions.

Media coverage

Four prominent Ho-Chunk alumni to address campus on significance of treaties UW–Madison News, September 22, 2021

Treaty Day 2021 is funded by the Division for Teaching and Learning of the Provost’s Office.