Reclaiming What is Theirs – How Native Activism in Milwaukee during the 1970s resulted in Land Back and Community Growth

Wisconsin is home to twelve tribes, eleven of which are federally recognized: Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Ho-Chunk Nation, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin, Oneida Nation, Forest County Potawatomi, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians and the Brothertown Nation. These nations have historically found themselves concerned with sovereignty and treaty recognition, with many Wisconsin Natives still taking action to bring attention to these issues. While many efforts to maintain treaty rights proved unsuccessful, the 1971 protests by Native activists in Milwaukee were a rare example of Native protests that resulted in Indigenous gain.
Prior to the forced removal of Indigenous peoples from Milwaukee, the city served as a “gathering place” for multiple tribes, including the Potawatomi, Menominee and Ho-Chunk, in part due to its many waterways. The 1830s saw the forced removal of Natives from Milwaukee, with tribes not returning until the 1920s. While the Oneida were the first and largest tribe to return to Milwaukee, the Ojibwa, Menominee, Stockbridge-Munsee, Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk also returned to the city in the following years.

An overview of the Mifflin Street Block Party: A political statement.

Writing as a senior on the eve of the annual Mifflin block party, I know plenty of people who plan to spend their Saturday drinking the day away between Dayton St and W Washington Ave. Yet many of the students who will be spending their day at Madison’s largest annual “darty” are unaware that the event started as a political protest.

Maya Angelou

Disclaimer: The following blog post is not a reflection of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s opinion on Maya Angelou. By Simran Bedi. Maya Angelou is revered today for her work as a poet, writer, actress, dancer, …