UWM students heading to State of the Tribes address

A delegation of students from UWM’s Electa Quinney Institute will travel to Madison for the annual State of the Tribes address to the Wisconsin Legislature. Shannon Holsey, tribal chairman of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohicans, is scheduled to give this year’s address at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 4.

The UWM students, who represent three nations and include several non-native students, will also meet with Buck Martin, a founder of UWM’s American Indian Studies program. The students will present him with a blanket and other tokens of gratitude. Martin, 70, lives in Madison and is a longtime advocate for Native American issues.

Electa Quinney was a pioneering American Indian educator and, like Holsey, was a Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican. The Electa Quinney Institute for American Indian Education was founded at UWM in 2010. It grew out of an endowed professorship in American Indian education established in 1999 through a gift from the Indian Community School.

The Stockbridge-Munsee tribe originated in New York’s Hudson River Valley. It traveled through Ohio and Indiana before settling in Wisconsin on Lake Winnebago’s eastern side in the early 19th century. Quinney was Wisconsin’s first public school teacher, teaching white and American Indian children in a one-room log school that opened in 1828.

The State of the Tribes address began in 2005 to help promote better communications between the tribal nations and the state. Wisconsin has 11 federally recognized American Indian tribes and one state-recognized tribe.

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