Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Stop at Winnebago

I traveled from Sioux City towards Fremont, Nebraska where I planned to do another walk. On the way I went through Winnebago, NE, the town within the Nebraska Winnebago Indian Reservation. I was surprised to see Ho-Chunk on signs for I associate this with groups in Wisconsin, but some later study on the Internet helped me understand that Ho-Chunk are also in Nebraska, having been forcibly removed here from Minnesota territory. This happened even though the Winnebago were neutral during the time of the Dakota-USA war. I also learned that Winnebago is the name given to this group by the Algonquin tribe. Europeans encountered the Algonquin first and so adopted the name, Winnebago, rather than Ho-Chunk which is what this group calls themselves.

I turned off the highway, first following a sign to Little Priest Tribal College. 

Follow the link above to learn more about this tribal college.

I worked my way back to the school building and parked on a side street.

While taking this picture a man came out of his house and called to me, "Hey! Did you see the buffalo too?" Wanting him to understand I wanted this picture for an English teaching project, I walked over to explain to him what I was doing. Later I thought I should have told him there are buffalo in Poland. I'm sure that would have surprised him!

Nest he asked if I had gone to the Statue Garden.  I told him I had seen a sign for it, but didn't understand what it meant. He went on to explain that the tribe is divided into clans and these statues explain that.

I went back to this area and was glad I did. The tribe had and has a very wise way of managing its community.

The statues were arranged in large circle. Above is a representative view of the Bear Clan. The Bear Clan are responsible for activities pertaining to the earth, including police/peace-keeping functions.

The Elk clan members are responsible for actions pertaining to the maintenance of fire. Certainly before the advent of electricity this would have been an very important function.

The Wolf Clan is and was in charge of public health and safety.

There were about 10 of these statues -- I'm not posting all of them. I'm certain you can get the idea of how the clans take care of the community.

I was so glad that the gentleman had suggested I double-back and visit the Statue Garden.

Near the Statue Garden I saw a nice playground.

Also there were new apartment buildings in this area. 

I had driven through this area about 10 years ago, and it was obvious the area is now more prosperous. Yes, this group does have some casinos, but also if you follow the link at the beginning of this blog, you will learn the tribe operates a development corporation that does activities ranging from construction to accounting to human resource work. This corporation is doing business in 10 states as well as three foreign countries.

It was raining when I got to Fremont, didn't do the walk, went right ahead to Lincoln, but I'm so glad I went by this route, for it was certainly a good stop in Winnebago.

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