Several events that honor Native American peoples and culture will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point this week, including the dedication of a mural that memorializes Native Americans buried on campus and the annual Pow Wow.
Held from 4:30-6:30 p.m., Friday, May 5, the dedication of the memorial mural will be held on the front lawn of Old Main, 2100 Main St., Stevens Point. It is free and open to the public. The mural, located on the north wall of the Communication Arts Center near the iris fountain, was created by artist Christopher Sweet, a member of the Ho-Chunk and White Earth Ojibwe nations. Its images and words represent the Ho-Chunk, Potawatomi, Ojibwe and Menominee tribes honored in the Ancestors Buried Below Us memorial. The mural also includes a poem written by Denise Sweet, former Wisconsin poet laureate.
The master of ceremonies will be Lac Du Flambeau Ojibwe tribal member Brian Jackson, with drums by GiiTaa’se and Ho Chunk Station as well as dancing and food. Invocations will be given by Menominee Nation Elder Dennis Kenote and Ho-Chunk Nation Elder Allen Cloud. Speakers from UW-Stevens Point include Chancellor Thomas Gibson, Vice Chancellor Al Thompson, Native American Center Coordinator Rachel Davis and Diversity and College Access Director Samantha Samreth. Also speaking will be artist Sweet, Oneida Nation member Karen Ann Hoffman, Lac Courte Oreilles – Ojibwe member Mike Demain and Ho Chunk Nation and Potawatomi Nation member Dylan Prescott.
“As we acknowledge these Ancestors, honor their journey and learn from our shared history, we move forward in a way respectful to those who lie here,” said Davis.
The Ancestors Buried Below Us memorial recognizes the site on campus that serves as an interment of Native Americans, including Ho Chunk, Menominee, Ojibwe and Potawatomi, after an outbreak of scarlet fever in the 1860s. Following a series of land transfers, the Stevens Point Normal School was built on the site and opened in 1894.
To attend the dedication, go to https://uwsp.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_863W6qoawqqZ2Em.
The 48th annual Pow Wow will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, May 6, in the Quandt Gymnasium at UW-Stevens Point. Admission is $5 per person. The event offers traditional Native American music, dance and regalia, as well as food, various vendors and crafts for children.
Grand entries will be held at noon and 6:30 p.m., with a feast at 4:30 p.m. It is sponsored by UW-Stevens Point’s American Indians Reaching for Opportunities, American Indians Science and Engineering Society, Native American Center and Diversity and College Access.