Wisconsin Indian Education Association celebrates Native American Heritage Month


NOVEMBER 1, 2017


Brian Jackson


Wisconsin Indian Education Association

Office: (715) 588-3800

Email: brian.jackson@ldfschool.org

Wisconsin Indian Education Association celebrates Native American Heritage Month in November

Organization issues open Call-to-Action to strengthen relations, address disparities faced by American Indians and ending the use of race based mascots.

The Wisconsin Indian Education Association (WIEA) is proud to celebrate National American Indian Heritage Month during the month of November. On August 3, 1990, President of the United States George H. W. Bush declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month, thereafter commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month. The Bill reads in part that “the President has authorized and requested to call upon Federal, State and local Governments, groups and organizations and the people of the United States to observe such month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.” Every year since, the Office of the President has issued a proclamation supporting the month as such. The landmark Bill honors America’s indigenous people.

In keeping with the essence of Native American Heritage Month, the Wisconsin Indian Education Association honors the unique culture, history and perseverance of the 11 federally recognized tribal nations within the state, as well as all Native nations across both North and South America.

WIEA President Brian Jackson says the organization is calling on tribal, state and local governments, public and private schools, tribal education programs and departments and civic groups alike to implement curriculum that strengthen educational offerings about Indigenous peoples in Wisconsin.

“For hundreds of years, American Indian history has been obscured, altered and in many instances erased from existence,” said Jackson. “It has long been a mission of WIEA to educate our non-Indian neighbors to the valuable contributions of Native Americans over the course of American history — many of which have allowed this country to attain a level of freedom and prosperity enjoyed by so many,” added Jackson.

As part of Native American Heritage Month, the Wisconsin Indian Education Association is issuing a call to action to address three main areas in closing the cultural divide while increasing the socioeconomic, educational and political position of Wisconsin’s tribal nations:

  • An open challenge to local governments, schools, civic organizations and individuals to learn more about the historical and contemporary connections of your local community to neighboring tribes and tribal communities in general.
  • Request that school districts employing race-based mascots develop an exit strategy away from the use of American Indian or other race based imagery within one (1) year. This request is especially critical if a school within the district you reside or a school within your school’s athletic conference currently uses a race based mascot.
  • Contact your legislator(s) to request a repeal of the 2013 Wisconsin Act 115, which makes it nearly impossible for those who object to race-based mascots and sports team names to bring about change at their school district.

Over the nearly 25-year history of WIEA, the group has remained a catalyst in the effort to incorporate historically accurate Native American curriculum into Wisconsin public schools. The effort gained support when former Governor Jim Doyle (D) signed into law Wisconsin Act 31, which requires public schools to offer historically accurate instruction on American Indian tribes in the state. Act 31 was born as a result of the ugly and sometimes violent protests of the late 80s and early 90s organized by non-Indian groups opposed to Chippewa Treaty Rights. Ultimately, District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled in favor of tribal spearers who sought a permanent injunction prohibiting non-Indian protesters from interfering with their court affirmed Treaty Rights, finding the protests to be racially motivated.

In addition to the call-to-action initiatives, WIEA will participate in a National Day-of-Action on Race Based Mascots, which is scheduled for Friday, November 17, 2017. Tribes, communities, universities and groups across the country plan to hold local and national events. From documentaries and movie showings, to book readings and workshops, and cultural events, the National Day-of-Action on Race Based Mascots brings to the forefront the social issues caused by Indian and other race based mascots.

“We’re encouraging everyone to participate in American Indian Heritage Month along with the November 17th National Day-of-Action on Raced Based Mascots,” said Jackson. “We all have a responsibility to add to the quality of life in our respective communities. When we act in the spirit of cooperation and unity, we create the framework for a positive future for people of all races and cultures in Wisconsin and beyond.”

Jackson says that WIEA, along with the Indian Mascot and Logo Task Force, offer a host of educational resources that provide historically accurate, authentic information on Wisconsin’s Native nations. “Much of the general public’s views and misconceptions of American Indians is due to the lack of meaningful information,” said Jackson. “WIEA is open to partnering to provide materials, training, resources and information to any group or organization interesting in broadening their knowledge base on American Indians – that also includes widening their network and fostering positive relationships,” Jackson added.

The American Indian Heritage or Native American Heritage Month designation aims to provide a platform for Native people in the United States to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance and ways and concepts of life. This gives Native people and their allies the opportunity to express to their community, city, county and state officials their concerns and solutions for building bridges of understanding and cooperation in their local area.


For additional resources visit any one of the following websites:





About the Wisconsin Indian Education Association

The Wisconsin Indian Education Association (WIEA) was established in 1985 by a group of concerned Indian Educators to carry on the efforts of the former Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC) Education sub-committee.

The GLITC Education Committee began in the early 1970’s but was disbanded around 1983 because of a lack of funds.

A group of concerned Indian Educators began meeting in 1984 and after a series of meetings during that year, developed By-laws and a mission statement.

The group was formally organized in 1985 as the Wisconsin Indian Education Association.

The Association has seven regions throughout the State. Each region elects/appoints two representatives as WIEA Board members for a two-year term.

Each Region’s Board members are responsible for hosting a meeting in their region throughout the year to share and gather information for the Board to either act upon or disseminate to all other WIEA members.

The Board meets every month except December. Meetings are held in the various regions throughout the state in an effort to get input from the general membership regarding their issues and concerns.

Dr. Bowman on Board for Boys and Girls Club

boys and girls clubDr. Nicole Bowman has been appointed to the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Shawano.

Read the Founder’s Campaign Kick off Press Release below.

The Need is Great and Growing! “Boys and Girls Club” Coming to Shawano

Shawano, WI, July 14, 2016.   It has been almost three years since Mayor Marquardt approached a group of community leaders about the need for an after school program for kids.  A group of 15 formed a committee to identify organizations that could provide citizenship-building and social opportunities for children of various ages.  The leaders targeted two organizations: Big Brothers, Big Sisters (BBBS) and the Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA) as programs of interest.  In late 2013 the group divided to work on each of these initiatives.  In 2014 the group established the Big Brothers, Big Sisters at the Shawano School District.  BBBS is a mentoring program to help children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with volunteer mentors.  This program has grown over the past couple of years and now has over 50 matches.  They still have kids that need matches, so please consider becoming a big brother or big sister.

As the Big Brothers, Big Sisters was created, a different group of community leaders started the Boys and Girls Club Initiative. The Boys and Girls Club mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.  The Boys and Girls Club team determined there is a growing need for an after school program that can help our young people to grow to their fullest potential.

Why is the need so great and growing?

  • Large segments of the youth in Shawano are not involved in productive after school activities. Many children are on their own, without supervision between the times school lets out until their parents/guardian return from work. They often complain there is no place to go, and they frequently end up in trouble.
  • Often, positive role models are not present because parents are working or absent. This is impacted by the number of kids that are growing up in single parent households, which continues to increase and is at 32% according to the 2016 County Health Rankings for Shawano County.
  • Our youth are dealing with inadequate life skills, slipping grades, truancy problems, poor self-esteem and a lack of positive role models– starting young is the key.
  • Job opportunities for true living wage within the city of Shawano and the county are few; therefore our young, newly trained and skilled workers seek employment elsewhere. We are training our future workforce today!
  • Opportunities to learn new, marketable skills are needed and poverty persists.

In Shawano School District about 25 – 30% of our young people meet the definition of “at-risk” according to Jessie Hanssen, At Risk Coordinator at the Shawano High School.

The Boys & Girls Club of Shawano will offer these youth an opportunity to see their own strengths and potential and use them as a foundation for successful, productive lives.

The Boys & Girls Club of America is a tried and true proven program that has been serving youth since 1860. This organization now impacts over 4.8 million youth annually with 4,000 Clubs across the country and on U.S. military bases around the world.

Beginning January 2017, the Boys & Girls Club of Shawano will join in this mission by involving parents, volunteers, educators and the business community to offer an after-school program at Olga Brener Intermediate School serving grades 3-5.  Future programming can expand to other grades and summer programs.   The Boys and Girls Club of Shawano will be a chapter of the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay.

A Positive Place for Kids

The Boys & Girls Club of Shawano will provide a solution to the problems facing youth today. The Club will attract and guide young people with core programs in five areas:

  • Character and Leadership Development – emphasizing interpersonal relationship-building, self-image and contribution to the community.
  • Education and Career Development – teaching basic education disciplines and technology.
  • Health and Life Skills – encouraging goal-setting and self-sufficiency.
  • The Arts – nurturing creativity, cultural awareness and appreciation for the arts.
  • Sports, Fitness and Recreation – developing physical and social skills, stress management and appreciation for the environment.

The Boys & Girls Clubs Are Unique.

All programs to be used by our Club have been tested by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and are proven to work! The national organization produces a “how to” manual to guide staff and volunteers through program implementation. Club staff will also attend rigorous training in all areas of program development and youth management. The programs will be adapted to our local needs and will be expanded according to the number of children in our Club.

The strength of Boys & Girls Club programs lies in the quantity and quality of time devoted to kids. The organization is dedicated to helping children build confidence and skills to become strong individuals who contribute to society, and the Club believes the way to do this is by spending time with the kids. Studies have shown that membership in the Club has proven results: Club members watch less television, perform better on assessment tests and have exceptional attendance records.

Ultimately, the Boys & Girls Club seeks to inspire children with a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and empowerment realizing that no child is beyond hope.

What Can You Do?

Our youth need our support, now more than ever.

By making a contribution to Boys & Girls Club, you will enhance the quality of life in Shawano by providing a child with the opportunity to participate in programs that mold them into successful citizens of our community. You will make a difference in a child’s life – one child at a time- who otherwise may not have the opportunities Boys & Girls Club provides.

In order to open our doors, we need tax deductible contributions totaling $100,000 in the bank for the first year and $200,000 pledged for years two and three.  The club will charge a minimal annual fee that most families can afford, but no family will be turned away because of lack of money.  The program will initially be available at Olga Brener Intermediate School which includes children between third and fifth grade.  Please consider giving to the Boys and Girls Club of Shawano. The boys and girls of Shawano need and deserve a Boys & Girls Club.

To learn more about this program, reach out to committee members: Tami Zuleger, Wendy Crawford, Jon Aumann, Nancy Schultz, Kara Skarlupka, Dave Zelinger, Joe Stellato, Matt Hendricks, Matt Hietpas, Gary Cumberland, Terri Schultz, Nicky Bowman, Gayle Lemmer, Stacy Cicero, Jeannie Jafolla-Otto, and John Van Ooyen.

Join us at the Boys and Girls Club of Shawano Founder’s Campaign Kick-off:

When:  Thursday, July 28, 2016 at Luigi’s Pizza and Pasta, at 607 S Main St, Shawano, WI 54166 from 5:15 – 7:00 pm to learn more about the Boys and Girls Club starting in 2017 at the Olga Brener Intermediate School in Shawano.

Please RSVP to 715 526-6136 or kara.skarlupka@co.shawano.wi.us if you plan on attending.