April 10, 2019


Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society
We hope your spring season is off to a great start! Although we are due for another snow storm this week, we are hopeful that some of the April rains will melt away the snow to make room for spring flowers.

April is "Iskigamizige-giizis", or Maple Sugar Moon. Have you tapped any sugar maple trees or boiled any sap? We'd love to share some of your photos at the sugarbush!

Spring fish harvesting and spearing are underway in different parts of the state as well! Regulations may be be found at GLIFWC 's website.

Scroll down to see the good news and many activities happening in the Mashkiiziibii community.
Natural Resources Department Educates Public

The biennial Bad River Natural Resources Open House was held at the Bad River Convention Center on March 26th. The Open House is an opportunity for community members to learn about different services, careers and news from Tribal Natural Resources programs and other agencies. 

"It's a chance to come out and talk to us, to get to know what we're doing, and to learn about natural resources issues and concerns," said Naomi Tillison, Bad River Natural Resources Director. "It's a big event to build relationships and work on issues together."

More than 40 different programs and agencies set up booths around the Convention Center. Some of the agencies present were the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Chequamegon Food Cooperative, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, Timber Wolf Alliance, as well as many others.

Participants were able to learn about topics ranging from climate change and water resources to geographic information systems, sustainability and wildlife management. Attendees were even greeted by the presence of local wildlife including bats, birds, snakes, and even sea lampreys.

Nearly 300 registered participants attended this year's event, including community members and outside agency staff, and approximately 80 youth came to the event to learn. The Indigenous Arts and Sciences program allowed youth to create custom Earth Day t-shirts.

The Indigenous Arts and Sciences program allowed youth to create custom Earth Day t-shirts
Theresa Paulsen, a science teacher at Ashland High School, brought some of her students to the open house to show them how science is used in real-world application.

"Our goal for the spring semester is to have students do their own research," Theresa said. "We want to partner with real professionals, for instance, folks doing bat surveys and helping to process data, listen to recordings and help identify them. We want to show them hands-on science. It gives the students an opportunity to understand how science data is collected in the real world and how we can use it, how it's applied to policies and all different ways in your life. We talked to Food Co-op about teaching a science cooking class, giving us a chance to learn how to cook with native foods in a healthy way. It gets kids interested in all of these amazing pieces of research we are seeing today."

One of Theresa's students, Aaron Whiting, was excited to have the chance to attend. "It's my first time at the event," Aaron said. "I really enjoyed learning about the bats, sea lampreys, carp, and all of the different species in the area. I had no idea that they were around here."

Adding to the fun, door prizes were given away throughout the day for participants who completed surveys and bingo sheets for different booths to answer questions about environmental issues such as invasive species, wildlife, water or environmental programs. The majority of prizes were items encouraging participants to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

Naomi would like to thank all the programs that assisted in making the event successful.  "I'd like to thank my staff who have worked really hard to help plan this, all of the partners that came to the event, and the Ashland High School teachers that brought their students."

If you would like to know more about upcoming events or what the Natural Resources Department is working on, please email Berthea Olby, Natural Resources Outreach Coordinator, or call 715-682-7111, extension 1589. 
State of the Tribes Address

The 15th Annual State of the Tribes Address was given on Tuesday, April 9th, by Tehassi Hill, Chairman of the Oneida Nation. After being introduced by two high school students from the Oneida Nation, Chairman Hill introduced himself and the other Tribal leaders from Wisconsin's 11 Tribal Nations.

Chairman Hill's speech began by highlighting the Special Committee on State-Tribal Relations. Tribal communities of Wisconsin have a long and proud history of caring for their communities, protecting resources, and building alliances and friendships. He gave recognition to ancestors and Elders, and said it was because of them that they stand in the state capital celebrating relationships and cultures.

Chairman Hill explained that Tribal communities contribute to their local communities in varying degrees, stimulating local economies and contributing $53 million to the state through gaming compacts. He also praised the Native American Tourism of Wisconsin (NATOW) for their work in promoting tourism and showcasing Tribal heritage and culture across the state.

"There is more work to be done," Chairman Hill said as he explained the disparities in unemployment rates, average household income and rate of poverty in Native American communities. While the gap has decreased, including a drop in the unemployment rate from 17% to 9.9%, a drop in the poverty level from 33% to 29%, and a rise in the average household income from $17,000 to $33,000, he stressed the n eed for collaboration to continue the growth in Tribal communities. 

WIEA Indian Mascot and Logo Task Force
"Teamwork makes the dream work," Chairman Hill said and praised the members the Special Committee on State-Tribal Relations for their work.
Chairman Hill also stressed the need for education in the state regarding the Tribes. He said Act 31 should not teach our children that the Native American communities are relics of the past but that they are communities and cultures that are alive and thriving. He also stressed the need to eliminate Indian mascots, logos and nicknames from the state of Wisconsin, saying there were still 31 public schools using mascots, logos or nicknames relating to Native Americans. He asked state legislators to pass new legislation adopting the motto of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association (WIEA) Indian Mascot and Logo Task Force.

"Teach respect, not racism. Indians are people, not mascots," Chairman Hill said.

Chairman Hill's speech also urged legislators to acknowledge the responsibility to Mother Earth in protecting and enhancing the resources the Creator has provided. He praised the efforts of the Menominee Nation in the opposition to the Back 40 Mine, and other nations in their opposition to the Lynne Mine in Oneida County.

"This is not a political policy, it's an obligation," Chairman Hill said. "We must protect water resources. Water is life."

Chairman Hill stressed the importance of Food Sovereignty, highlighting the great work being done in Tribal communities to feature traditional foods and providing healthy options to the community members, but said there is more work to be done. He asked for a Joint Agriculture Marketing Initiative to promote Tribal communities as food hubs. 

He also warned of the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to Wisconsin's deer population and asked for responsible deer farming, fast and free testing of deer carcasses, and a greater investment in CWD research.

Chairman Hill spoke to the need for increased funding for healthcare in Native communities, and for full Medicaid expansion in the state, noting that increased federal funding would bring money to communities and would be good for the state.

He discussed the opioid epidemic, which is being felt across the nation and is affecting Tribal communities as well, saying Native Americans have the highest rate of overdose death of any race, and three times the general population rate. He stressed that Tribal communities could not do this alone and spoke to the need of resources in all communities across the country. He also spoke of the successes Tribal communities have seen in incorporating Native culture into healing. 

Chairman Hill spoke to the importance of access to safe, adequate and affordable housing as a critical component to a comprehensive drug treatment approach, saying, "Housing is a constant issue in Tribal communities."

He asked legislators to improve grant offerings and other incentives to make housing development more affordable and increase resources for homelessness, home-ownership initiatives, and green building, which is often prohibitively expensive.

Chairman Hill closed his speech by speaking to two issues threatening Native communities - Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). He praised the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women USA group and their work to combat violence against Indigenous women by educating women of the threats they face and teaching them self-defense. He called on the State of Wisconsin to work with Tribal Communities to "do better for our life-givers through increased funding for women's programs, including programs for identifying sex trafficking, teaching self-defense and providing trauma informed care, housing and transportation for domestic abuse victims."
He also thanked the State of Wisconsin for standing with Native children and families by adopting the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act and by standing in support of ICWA in its amicus brief submitted to the 5th Circuit Court, which found that ICWA is unconstitutional.

"A finding that ICWA is unconstitutional would have far reaching implications on Native American children and families," Chairman Hill said. "But an unconstitutional decision could also have sweeping consequences over all Indian law that governs the relationship between Tribal Nations and the federal government."

In closing the State of the Tribes Address, Chairman Hill stressed the need for further collaboration between the State and the Tribal Nations.

"We have lived among each other for generations and still work to understand one another. Through continued collaboration and trust building, it is possible that our future generations won't be plagued by the same problems we face today. Our governments are more similar than we think. We want what is best for our people - better schools, better homes, better healthcare, better economies, better futures.  We are better when we stand together."

Click on the image below to view the full speech.

Jennifer Toribio-Warren - New Housing Executive Director

Jennifer Toribio-Warren.
Submitted photo
Jennifer Toribio-Warren recently transitioned into the position of Executive Director for the Bad River Housing Authority. Jennifer was first hired as the Assistant Director for the program in September of 2017 and most recently served as interim Executive Director until taking on the position full-time.

Jennifer is a positive asset to the community and has a strong work ethic. She has associate degrees in both business management and accounting, has past banking history, and has experience with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 184 Loan Program. 

Jennifer said she is eager to learn more about positive impacts of affordable housing and development. She has plenty of goals she would like to accomplish in this new position.

"I look forward to providing job growth and new housing development in my time as the Bad River Housing Authority Executive Director," Jennifer said. "My goal is to continue to bring positive changes to the community."

Jennifer is honored to have this opportunity and is looking forward to working with the community.

Congratulations Jennifer!
Youth Safety Posters Advance to National Competition

Congratulations Teresa and Malea!  Good luck at the national competition!
2019 Bad River Summer Youth Program

Applications are now being accepted for the Bad River 2019 Summer Youth Program. This program, for youth ages 14 to 17 years old, will take place in July and August, and offers four tracks for youth to choose from: 
  • BR Youth DNR - June 24th through July 26th. Eight hours per day - five weeks total of 40 hours per week.
  • BR Summer Youth Crew - June 24th through July 19th. Eight hours per day - four weeks total of 32-40 hours per week.
  • BR Youth Outdoors - July 22nd through August 16th - eight hours per day - four weeks total of 40 hours per week.
  • BR Youth Leadership - TBD - internship - submit letter of recommendation from teacher or Elder.
Orientation for the Circle of Youth will be held on Wednesday, May 15th, at the Community Center. 

Applications must be submitted by 4:30 pm on Wednesday, May 1st.

Applications are to be dropped off at the Bad River Social Services Department - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF program), located at the Bad River Community Center. 

For additional information or questions, please email Lynn Bigboy or call at 715-682-7111, extension 1439.

A Shared Vision, Connecting With One Another

A new collaborative effort involving community members and multiple Tribal programs and departments called "A Shared Vision, Connecting With One Another" is underway.

The purpose is to secure community involvement and commitment to solve problems via connecting with one another.  The overall goal is to connect the community and people together. People can attend not only to connect, but to share events, situations, adversities and triumphs. By joining together, we can help overcome obstacles and support one another.

Community participation is integral in helping to solve problems. Members of the community are the experts of their own issues, and their thoughts, needs and challenges will be respected.

The group had its first meeting on March 22nd to discuss the issues happening in the community at large.

The next meeting will be held on April 11, 2019 at the Food Sovereignty Building.

All community members are welcome to attend to share their thoughts, support each other, have their voices heard, and be proactive in working to improve the community.

See the flyer in the Community Events section for more information.
Brownfields* Program Community Survey

* The EPA defines the term "Brownfield" as an abandoned, idled or under-used real property where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by the presence or potential presence of environmental contamination. Some examples are: oil spills, underground storage tanks, and open dumps. (definition sourced from EPA brownfields webpage)

The Bad River Brownfields Program was implemented in 2013 to address contaminated sites across the reservation. The contaminated sites include papermill sludge sites, underground storage tanks, and open dumping sites.

Because the program is relatively new, there is a need to re-evaluate the priorities of the program moving forward.

Please participate in this community survey.

The results of this survey will help the program continue to grow and expand. Increasing the efficiency of the program will help in the cleanup and prevention of environmental contamination.

Your time and contribution to the program are greatly appreciated!

The four current activities of the brownfield program include but are not limited to:
* Timely survey and inventory of brownfield sites.
* Oversight and enforcement of compliance regarding brownfield sites
* Provide Meaningful Opportunities for Public Participation.
* Cleanup plan, verification, and certification that clean-up is complete

The survey will close on April 28, 2019.
Want to Commit Fraud for Benefits? Think Again!
By Esie Leoso-Corbine, Social and Family Services Director

The State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services is required to conduct activities to reduce fraud with participants that receive FoodShare benefits, Wisconsin Medicaid (MA), and Badgercare Plus (BC+) under WI Statute 49.845. 

The State of Wisconsin has the Fraud Prevention and Investigation Program (FPIP) in which $1.5 million was allocated for 2019. This program conducts investigations and findings on potential fraud with participants. FPIP will utilize various methods including social media to investigate fraud. Some of those systems include Child Support and Unemployment. So, if you think you are getting a free lunch, think again. 

Some larger agencies have these units in-house. Smaller agencies like Bad River Social and Family Services (SFS) department do not have the capacity to conduct their own investigations, and they have the option to join a state consortium or do it independently. The budgets for most agencies are based on the caseload, therefore, most Tribes opt for the consortium.

The Income Maintenance program in any county or Tribal agency enters all participant data into the Childbirth Assistance, Resources, and Education (CARES)  network. This system has the capacity to monitor all data on participants ranging from missing parents to unreported income. An electronic case file can get an error report from the CARES network because proof of income was not submitted or an individual did not report a parent living in the household. All agencies are required to attain the missing information to correct the error. If not, it will be investigated.
The FPIP will begin the investigation by utilizing many federal and state systems that are allowable by law. For example, Child Support systems; when an individual reports that the parent is not living in the household, then the Child Support office reported that both parents are residing together, guess what happens? Yep, this will ding the electronic case file as an error. Now, electronic systems don't determine whether it is fraud; it determines something is not right with this case. The FPIP will begin a thorough investigation that makes that determination.

If an individual has committed intentional or unintentional "fraud" of a federal program such as FoodShare there are consequences. The State of Wisconsin will take steps to attain the over payment that can even lead to sanctioning your income tax refund. Avoid over payments by paying attention to your reviews, providing the information requested in a timely manner; don't wait until the last minute. These systems are time sensitive. Foremost, report everyone in the household and all income.
National Crime Victims' Rights Week

National Crime Victims' Rights Week is now through April 13, 2019.

Have you or someone you know been a victim to a crime?

For assistance, call Tracy Bigboy or Mary Kaulaity-Nelis at (715) 682-7127 at the Victim Assistance Program.
Turning Ideas Into Actions

The Bad River Planning Department provides these updates on the activities that the Tribal Planner and Grant Writers are a part of, including grant awards and other planning projects.

For questions about programs, we encourage you to call the departments to ask about details supported under that program funding.
  • Early Head Start (EHS) & Language Immersion Programs Coming Soon: The Tribe was awarded an EHS Expansion Grant! EHS is for children ages 6 weeks to 3 years old. The existing Head Start (HS) program is for children ages 3 years to 5 years old. This funding will provide the following for EHS:
    • 32 spots will be available for the center-based program (kids will be at the building and families will participate in activities at the building).
    • 20 spots will be available for the home-based program (families will receive support at their home and through activities at the building).
    • 5 spots for pregnant women (support will be provided through home visits or meetings at the building).
    • That's 57 children and families that will be supported!
    • PLUS, 12 new jobs will be available for the community.
    • Language Immersion (LI) will be available in one classroom (8 children) for EHS! This will open doors for the Tribe to integrate LI into HS and future programs next. To learn more about LI, this article summarizes the basics of LI.
    • As with the Head Start Program, zero or low-income families, homeless, and children in foster care will receive priority. Meals and diapers are provided through the program. $1.2 Million was included for the expansion/construction of the new HS Building to include four classrooms for EHS programs, and a second playground. This is a huge financial relief for the Tribe!
    • The building completion is scheduled tentatively for December 2019. The move-in and program start date are scheduled tentatively for January 2020.
    • Letters of support for the application came from many Bad River Departments as well as US Senator Tammy Baldwin.
    • Read more about the HS and EHS purpose and goals here
    • Stay tuned for details on enrollment and the development of the new building!
  • DOJ OVC Tribal Set-Aside Awarded: The US Dept. of Justice (DOJ) Awarded the Bad River Social & Family Services Department (SFS) a $699,925 award from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside Program. Funding will provide support to help create, improve, and expand victims' services and build the capacity of tribes to respond to crime victims' needs. SFS intends to create a central location for the Victim Services Program and will expand their crime victim services to include children and elders. SFS was awarded Phase 1 in 2018 and this funding is Phase 2. For more information about this program please call SFS at 715-682-7127
  • Youth Build: The funding has been secured for the cash match required to move forward with the Youth Build program! This program is a partnership with Northwest Wisconsin Concentrated Employment Program (NWCEP), Workforce Resource Menomonie, and Western Dairyland of Eau Claire, the Bad River Tribe and Red Cliff Tribal Housing. The program will build one house on Bad River and one house on Red Cliff this summer. This is an education and training program that helps at-risk youth earn credits and receive training to build housing for low-income or homeless individuals. Recently, Red Cliff and Bad River have met to discuss building plans and to strategize how each tribe can support the other during this project. The Tribal planner will continue to work on details of this program, and we will share that as soon as it's outlined.
  • San Manuel Band of Mission Indians (SMBMI) Donation: The SMBMI Charitable Giving Program has generously awarded Bad River funding support for the EMT training classes. This $10,000 donation will allow Bad River to increase its first responder services by training more community members to answer to emergencies.
  • TMS (Time & Attendance System): All staff are required to use both the new TMS clocks as well as their old timecards and swipes while we continue to ensure the programming is working. If you are having trouble clocking in, please notify your supervisor immediately. 
We have several other projects that we want to to update you on, so we will provide more updates in future e-newsletters!
Tribal Planning & Grants Team
Doug Jennings, Tribal Planner
Charles Connors, Sr., Grant Writer
Lucy Koivisto LVT, MSA, Grant Writer
Dr. Ignace's Legacy Honored at Red Shawl Gala

Dr. Gerald L. Ignace.  Submitted photo
After hearing concerns about the lack of access to direct health care in the greater Milwaukee area in the 1970s voiced by Tribal Members, Dr. Gerald L. Ignace had an idea. By 1999, that idea had blossomed into the Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center (GLIIHC), one of 18 Federally Qualified Health Centers that serve to improve the health of under-served and vulnerable populations.

Now, 20 years later, Gerald is set to be honored at this year's 14th Annual Red Shawl Gala fundraiser on April 12th at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukee. 

"The seeds for our center grew from awareness in the 1970s of the poor health among Milwaukee's Native American community," said Dr. Lyle Ignace, GLIIHC Chief Executive Officer and son of Dr. Gerald Ignace. "Since its inception, GLIIHC has tripled in size, built a pharmacy, dental clinic, behavioral health center and serves a low-income community that is rich in culture and pride."

GLIIHC serves patients who are Tribal Members from all 11 of Wisconsin's federally recognized Nations, the Brothertown Indian Nation and patients who are members of other Tribal Nations throughout Indian Country. Its efforts make it a worthy honoree for the annual Red Shawl Gala.

"The Red Shawl Gala funds programs that are responsive to the needs of the community and help assure a stronger future for Milwaukee's Native Americans," Dr. Lyle Ignace said.

This year's theme is "A Legacy of Native Health Under One Roof" and Dr. Lyle Ignace, a member of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and the Coeur D'Alene Tribe of Idaho, said he's excited to look back on the work his father did for Milwaukee's Native Americans.

"It is an honor to celebrate and continue my father's legacy to improve the essential health, peace and well-being of Urban Indians in the Greater Milwaukee area," Dr. Lyle Ignace said. "The foundation for our award-winning healthcare services is based on our tradition that in order to heal, every part of a patient must be addressed. This includes the mind, body, spirit and emotions, and involves the whole family, including the community."
Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968

President Lyndon B. Johnson -
photo from Wikipedia
Fifty-one years ago this month, the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 was passed, giving Native people rights not spelled out in earlier legislation. The path to passage was long and difficult.

For many years, Native Americans suffered from policies developed by the federal government that were specifically designed to eradicate Native people entirely, or to assimilate them into the developing culture of the United States. Native people were forced from their aboriginal territories onto newly established reservations and Tribal lands where the laws of the U.S. Constitution did not necessarily apply.

After years of political movements stemming from the mistreatment of indigenous people, civil rights became a national issue. In the 1960s, figures like Martin Luther King, Jr., helped bring national attention to disparities in civil liberties and helped end forced segregation in different parts of the country. It was during this time that Native people formed the American Indian Movement (AIM) to protest for basic civil rights.

On November 22, 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson assumed the role of U.S. President after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Following in the late President's footsteps, President Johnson sought to develop laws that delivered on the promise of civil liberties and freedom to each American, including people of color and Indian people. In 1964 he passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the first piece of legislation that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

However, as previously stated, laws of the United States did not necessarily apply to Tribal lands. Aware of the gross mistreatment of indigenous people, President Johnson worked diligently to educate members of government on the issues that Native people faced.

In March of 1968, he delivered a message to Congress, titled "The Forgotten American", addressing the problems that indigenous peoples faced.

"The words of the Indian have become our words - the names of our states and streams and landmarks," stated President Johnson. "His myths and his heroes enrich our literature. His lore colors our art and our language. For two centuries, the American Indian has been a symbol of the drama and excitement of the earliest America. But for two centuries, he has been an alien in his own land."

In a section of the message seeking to promote Indian development through health, education, economic growth and strengthening community institutions, President Johnson stated, "In our efforts to meet that responsibility, we must pledge to respect fully the dignity and the uniqueness of the Indian citizen. That means partnership - not paternalism. We must affirm the right of the first Americans to remain Indians while exercising their rights as Americans. We must seek new ways to provide Federal assistance to Indians - with new emphasis on Indian self-help and with respect for Indian culture. And we must assure the Indian people that it is our desire and intention that the special relationship between the Indian and his government grow and flourish."

On April 11, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson passed the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 (ICRA). The Act afforded indigenous people the same protections promised in the Bill of Rights on Tribal land. The Act guaranteed Tribal people personal freedoms against Tribal governments and assisted in the establishment of formal legislative authority and trial courts in Indian Country.

Legal aspects of ICRA can be found on Washington LawHelp's website.

For more information on the development of ICRA and Lyndon Johnson's work with Native people, please visit Indian Country Today's website.
Wisconsin's Native Tribes are Taking Action to Keep Their Languages from Dying Out

Dancers perform at the Bear Moon Pow Wow at the Indian Community School in January; photo by Lacy Landre
Editor's Note:  Jason Dropik, a Bad River Tribal Member, is the head of the Indian Community School in Franklin, featured in this article.

The speakers of Wisconsin's native languages have dwindled to a few elders, but the Tribes are rallying to ensure this critical element of their culture is preserved.

The day care classroom looks pretty standard.

Six children, ages 1 to 2 and full of energy, are playing with toys, bouncing around the room and interacting with three teachers. A teacher, a grandmotherly woman named Annie Wilber, sits on the floor with the youngsters and sings that ubiquitous little-kids' song - "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands!" The toddlers clap, stamp and jump on cue. Across the room, a little boy sneezes. Another teacher - tall, 23-year-old Donald Tourtillott - leans over. "Gross. Your nose is really snotty, let's wipe that nose."

What makes this place unusual: No adult in this room is talking to these children in English. All communications are required to be in Menominee, a language familiar to hundreds of Tribe members but spoken proficiently by only about 10 of them. This is a language-immersion day care on the Menominee reservation in Keshena, and part of an ambitious effort to resurrect the language that has lost so many of its native speakers that it might be headed to extinction without some kind of intervention. 

The number of people who learned Menominee before they started speaking English - known as first-language speakers, or native speakers - is down to five elders, all of them older than 80, according to Ron Corn Jr., the longtime Menominee language teacher who oversees teacher training for the Tribe's immersion day care. The idea of this place is to speak Menominee to babies and toddlers who are in their most formative years. "The sign of a healthy language is that the language is spoken by children," Corn says. "There's no other demographic that makes the language safe. So if it's spoken even by a thousand elders, that doesn't make your language safe."

There are some 150 indigenous languages spoken in North America, but many of them no longer have any first-language speakers. The last native speakers of many such languages have died in recent years, notes Monica Macaulay, a linguistics professor at UW-Madison who specializes in Native languages, particularly Menominee. Two examples she cites: the last native Mandan speaker, in North Dakota, and the last speaker of Wichita, in Oklahoma, both passed away in 2016.

Banners from state Tribes are on display over the Bear Moon Pow Wow in January; 
photo by Lacy Landre
When you visit the Indian Community School in Franklin, you can't help being blown away by the beauty of the place. It's a low-slung building hugging a ridge on 200 acres of former farmland about 13 miles from Downtown Milwaukee, but the spaces inside are vast and full of light. Supporting columns are wrapped in trees from the Menominee reservation. The school was built in 2007, designed by internationally known architect Antoine Predock, in collaboration with Milwaukee's Eppstein Uhen Architects and Chris Cornelius, an Oneida tribal member who teaches architecture at UW-Milwaukee.

In the high-ceilinged central hall near the building's entrance hang banners from each of the state's Tribes. The 4K-8 school, whose 372 students (all of them are Native American, and 64 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunches) take a full elementary school curriculum, with math, social studies, art and music. But the kids also all take Native languages each day - committing as kindergartners to either Oneida, Menominee or Ojibwe instruction. The school is also in discussion with the Ho-Chunk to add daily instruction in that language, too. "We're very hopeful. It's very close," says ICS spokeswoman Siobhan Marks.

The heart of the school's teaching mission is making kids aware of their Native cultures, Marks says. At ICS, they learn to value their Native heritage and see how it's still alive in their hometown and state. During a morning visit to Renee Pfaller's Oneida language classroom in January, third-graders - all of them at least part Oneida - worked on sentences by asking each other about their clan membership. In the next period, second-graders sat in a way to simulate an Oneida longhouse, with members of the Wolf, Turtle and Bear clans on separate benches. Teaching assistant Lori Faber told the children about her first visit to a ceremony at the reservation's longhouse the weekend before, with plenty of Oneida terms and songs thrown in.

While much of the school's education focuses on places and cultures that thrived outside what's now the Milwaukee metro area, ICS teacher Michael Zimmerman Jr. likes to remind visitors of the city's Native roots. As students touring the school visited his Ojibwe language classroom last summer, he called up a 1920 article on the room's big flat-screen monitor to tell the story of the multiple Potawatomi-led villages in eastern Wisconsin at the time of European settlement. He indicated five of them in what is now Downtown Milwaukee and the surrounding neighborhoods, and named the Potawatomi chiefs who led them. He called up a photo of a plaque describing a village where the Hilton City Center now stands, headed by a chief named Kenozhoym, and read from it. "The village was located near a clear spring, at the foot of a steep bluff, atop of which were more wigwams and an Indian cemetery. A wild rice swamp lay to the east of the village; to the north, as far as Juneau Avenue, stretched a swamp of cedar and tamarack. ... The village was vacated in 1838, when the last of the Potawatomi were moved west of the Mississippi." He talked of other villages on today's Jones Island, at 24th and Clybourn, and at Fifth and National. "It's all within about 2.5 square miles," he tells the visitors. "When I asked my third-graders through eighth-graders, 'Where do you guys live?' most of them lived roughly within that same area."

We talk today about historically Polish, German, African-American or Hispanic neighborhoods in Milwaukee. But the Potawatomi lived here before any of them, notes Noodin. "It's never too late to remember indigenous history," said Noodin, who was there that day. "It is as much this city's heritage as any of the other layers. How do we move to the future? Perhaps by remembering all of the past."

The ICS started in the homes of three Oneida women in Milwaukee in 1969 who felt that Milwaukee Public Schools were not doing right by their kids. The school moved twice into more official homes before closing in 1983 because it was "struggling financially," according to an official timeline. In 1986, with the school closed but its board still active, it purchased land at 16th and Canal streets in the Menomonee Valley. The next year the school reopened on the former campus of Concordia College on Milwaukee's West Side, and three years later, after approaching several Tribes, it inked a deal with the Forest County Potawatomi transferring the Valley land - now the site of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino - and the old Concordia campus to the Tribe. The ICS operated on a lease from the Potawatomi until it moved onto its Franklin campus in 2007.

All of this came amid the growth of Indian gaming around the country as the result of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988. The lease provided the school with millions of dollars of casino money each year, and allowed it to build not only the Franklin school, but also create an endowment now in the neighborhood of $500 million. "We invested the money very well, and that is what has allowed the school to be set into perpetuity," says Marks.

It has also allowed the ICS to create partnerships with the state's Tribes, and others. It was a million-dollar grant from the school in 1999 to endow at least two professorships at UWM that launched the Quinney Institute. Then in 2015 and 2016, ICS representatives visited all of the state's Tribes on a tour called "Listening to Tribal Voices." "Part of the talk of all tribal communities was how important language was," says head of school Jason Dropik, an Ojibwe from the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. "It was talked about at every single meeting." The result was a new teaching plan for the school that is now in its first year. One major goal, says Marks, is to have all graduates conversational in their chosen language - with the hope that some will go on to become fluent.

Representatives from the state's Tribes visit the school often. Last fall, the executive council of the Forest County Potawatomi made their first trip as a group to the school - the beautiful building that their casino helped build. "That was a historic meeting," Marks says.

Community Information
Vehicle Registration and Titling

Wolf Art Wanted - Deadline April 15th

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Bad River Scholarship Opportunity - Deadline April 30th

Public Input Needed - Deadline April 30th
Art & Slogan Contest - Deadline May 1st
National Day of Awareness for #MMIW - May 5th

Adoption List Deadline is May 6th

The deadline for the November 2019 Adoption List is May 6, 2019.

Please email or call the Enrollment Office for details at 715-682-7111, ext. 1525.

Theresa Couture,
Bad River Tribal Enrollment Clerk
We Remember Our Ancestors

Nimikwendaagoziiyang ~ We Remember Our Ancestors

The Bad River Tribal Historic Preservation Office and Repatriation Committee are currently working on a project to create a Veterans Memorial at the Veterans Pavilion at the Bad River Cemetery.

Part of this project honors our Ancestors and their burial bundles long lost to museum collections and other sources, which will be repatriated and reinterred at an undisclosed location, to prevent theft.
Multiple black granite slabs will be added that recognize each conflict and war that Tribal Members have been involved in throughout history, including the Civil War through more recent overseas conflicts.

Community members can help fund this effort by buying a brick to be included in the paving of the memorial. This project needs your support!

You don't have to have a Veteran in your family to contribute. By purchasing a brick, you become the sponsor and can create a customized engraved message on your brick that will be placed at the entry of the Veterans Pavilion. Make it a family affair to Buy-a-Brick for your Ancestors and Loved Ones.

"It becomes a community effort to make this happen," Edith Leoso, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer shared. "It will become aesthetically pleasing for our Veterans and community members to come enjoy and reflect, and will also be handicap accessible."

Smaller bricks are $50 and larger patio blocks are $100 each. Proceeds from sales will go toward creating the Veterans Memorial, such as: 
  • The purchase and installation of seven flags and concrete-mounted flag poles estimated at $750 each; 
  • the purchase and installation of eight four-foot high engraved black granite slabs mounted on two-foot high black granite faced concrete to recognize all the wars and conflicts Tribal Members served in; 
  • solar lighting; cedar trees and fencing and other items to beautify the pavilion and area to honor Veterans.

Fundraising will continue until the $125,000 goal is reached, or all projects are completed. For information on the amount of sales to date, contact the Tribal Treasurer or Accounting office.


You may contribute online or print the donation flyer.

For questions about the project, please email Edith Leoso or call 715-682-7123, extension 1662.

Bad River Family Foundations

News from LCO College
Register for Summer Classes Now

The Summer term begins June 3, 2019, at the  Bad River Outreach Site located in the Chief Blackbird Center.

The Bad River Outreach Site is open  Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

For more information, call  715-682-7111, extension 1532.
Community Events
April MOVE Calendar

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Weekly Events

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Mondays at 4:30 pm
Community Center

MOVE Project - Ladies Workout
Tuesdays at 4:30 pm
Community Center

A weekly workout class open to women, girls, ladies and mom's of all ages.

Join us for a 45-60 minute workout, all equipment provided, just bring gym shoes/clothes and water.
Beading Circle
Wednesdays at 2:00 pm
Bad River THPO Building

Language Table
2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 6:00 pm
Bad River Head Start

A Shared Vision - Connecting With One Another - April 11th

Quarterly Baby Shower - April 12th

Easter Craft Day - April 17th

Earth Day Celebration - April 19th

Health & Wellness Center Closed April 19th and April 22nd

Monthly Diabetes Clinic - April 23rd

Family Foundations Advisory Board Meeting - April 24th

Family Awareness Event - April 26th

Head Start Pow Wow - April 28th

LCO Business Expo and Business Resource Fair - May 16th

Health Fair - June 26th

Natural Resources Youth Camp - July 29th to August 2nd

Employment Opportunities
Visit these sites for current employment opportunities:

2020 Census Jobs

Refer a Friend Internet Promotion
Share Your News!
Share Your News

Share your good news with the community!

The e-newsletter is sent every other Wednesday.

Email your information and story ideas, and please include your contact information so that we can follow up with you.   Please include a photo if possible.

Chi Miigwech!

Kim Swisher, Adam VanZile and Daleth Mountjoy
Tribal Communications
Office:  715-437-0090

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