Recognition of Native American Heritage Month
A Statement by The City of Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission Monday, November 5, 2018
The City of Milwaukee and surrounding areas have been home to several Indigenous Nations over the centuries and millennia. The ancestors of modern Indigenous Nations have lived in the area since at least 8,000 B.C.: the Mamaceqtaw (Menominee), the Meshkwahkihaki (Meskwaki), the Osawkiwaki (Sauk), the Nishnabek (Potawatomi), the Nishnaabeg (Odawa), the Anishinaabek (Ojibwe), the Miscouten; and through federal relocation, the Onʌyotea·ká (Oneida), the Muhhekaneok (Mohican), and the Eeyamquittoowauconnuck (Pequot and Mohegan). The City of Milwaukee is also home to countless members of other Nations who live and work in the city every day.
While acknowledging the rich and lengthy historical contributions that Milwaukee’s Indigenous people have made to the growth of the City, the State, and the country, it is just as critical to continue to preserve and honor Milwaukee’s Indigenous residents’ language, culture, dance, and ways and concepts of life. We must be committed to educating non-Indigenous residents of Milwaukee and Wisconsin on the history, culture, and current existence of its Indigenous people. We must also address the ongoing challenges to Indigenous people’s treaty rights and sovereignty; and recognize and stand witness to everyday racism and violence to which Indigenous people are subjected, in particular the international epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
During the month of November, various activities will reinforce the value and contributions that Indigenous community members bring to workplaces and the City as a whole and affirm Milwaukee’s commitment to inclusivity and celebration of its Indigenous People, and their heritages, cultures, and contributions.
The City of Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission recognizes November 2018 as Native American Heritage Month. In doing so, we call upon employers, city departments, schools, and other community organizations in Milwaukee to observe this month with programs, ceremonies, and activities. We encourage a strong commitment to advance the message that Indigenous people’s current and historical contributions are valued and deserve to be celebrated.