Gov. Tony Evers today, in addition to events with the Oneida Nation and the Ho-Chunk Nation, recognized and celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day with a video message honoring Wisconsin’s Native Nations and reaffirming the state’s commitment to respecting Tribal Sovereignty and fostering strong government-to-government relationships to build a brighter, more prosperous future for the state and the Native Nations.
First recognized in 2019 when Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #50 to annually designate the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day, today marks the fifth consecutive year that Wisconsin has celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day. A copy of this year’s Indigenous Peoples Day proclamation is available here.
In 2021, in addition to recognizing the annual observance of Indigenous Peoples Day in Wisconsin, Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #136, issuing a formal acknowledgment and apology for Wisconsin’s historical role in Indian boarding schools. The governor’s order also included a formal declaration of support for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative.
Wisconsin is home to 12 Native Nations, including the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Forest County Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk Nation, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Oneida Nation, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians, and Brothertown Indian Nation.
The governor’s Indigenous Peoples Day transcript below:
Hey there, folks. Governor Tony Evers here.
Wisconsin is home to 12 Native Nations that have each played an important role in the protection, conservation, development, and growth of our state and the Great Lakes region.
We would not be the state or region we are today without the significant contributions of Indigenous people to our history, culture, economy, and to our future. And we are proud to celebrate Tribal leaders that have defended the land, protected the water, and championed Native rights and prosperity.
Building strong relationships with the Native Nations and respecting Tribal sovereignty is such an important part of my role as governor.
In 2019, I was proud to designate the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day in the state of Wisconsin.
Each year on this day, we recognize the vast historical and cultural contributions of Indigenous people to our state.
We celebrate their resilience and strength, especially the rich languages and traditions that still survive today in the face of injustice and adversity.
We also recognize the role our state and federal government have played in that injustice, which is why I have also issued an executive order in 2021 formally apologizing for the historic role our state played in Indian Boarding Schools and the generational trauma those facilities caused.
Over the past few years, together, we’ve worked to advance projects to expand affordable housing on Tribal lands, unveiled exciting dual-language road signs that feature both English and Indigenous languages, and found avenues to diversify Tribal revenue by permitting event wagering, along with many other notable achievements.
I was also proud to sign the state budget that makes critical investments in the strength and well-being of Native Nations and Indigenous communities across the state.
My budget included investments to expand access to child care in Tribal areas and child welfare services, support the Tribal Elder Food Boxes, and provide increased funding for Tribal veterans services.
The budget also included conservation efforts and funding for programming at UW-Green Bay developed with the Oneida Nation to support STEM education camps and provide access to UW-Green Bay’s college credit program for students.
My commitment has been and will always be to strengthen our government-to-government partnership with Tribal Nations and to ensure that experiences and perspectives of Native people are always included and respected in our work at the state level.
We have much work to do, but I look forward to continuing our work together in the years ahead.
So, with that, happy Indigenous Peoples Day.
Today—and every day—we recognize and celebrate Native Nations here in Wisconsin, pledge to respect their inherent sovereignty, and commit to working together to ensure all Indigenous communities can thrive in our state.
Thank you, and take care, folks.