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Strong Unrelenting Spirits The North American Landscape • Identity Genocide I am an Indian First and an Artist Second

 

Sophia Memekae Ontiveros, Not Recognized, 2012

The Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) people were removed from Wisconsin, where they held title to seven million acres during the Indian Removal Act, which was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830.  They were removed to at least five different locations over a forty-four year period in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

Many of the people kept returning to their homeland in Wisconsin during this time and were eventually allowed to remain by the U.S. government. The Wisconsin Winnebago in 1994 officially changed their name back to their original name of Ho-Chunk.  There is still a reservation in Nebraska where the Nebraska Winnebago live. The two groups are recognized as two different nations by the United States government.

Since the beginning of the removals many families were separated and would travel back and forth between Wisconsin and Nebraska.  There are constant marriages that continue between the two groups then and today.  Sophia’s grandmother is ½ Winnebago and ½ Ho-Chunk making her ¼ Ho-Chunk blood.  Since the tribes are considered to distinct nations she is only 1/8 of each nation.  This does not qualify her for the blood quantum of ¼ for each nation.

 

 

 

     

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