In honor of Indigenous People’s Day this Nerdy Girl would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge that right this second, she sits upon ancestral native land, in a place the Ho-Chunk people have called Teejop since time immemorial.
My office sits in Agricultural Hall, on Observatory Hill. Two ancient native effigy mounds were destroyed in 1901 to dig its foundations, and two more–a water spirit and a giant bird–are bisected by sidewalks that I use to get to my parking lot.
The effigy mounds on our campus predate the Ho-Chunk people by hundreds or thousands of years. The Ho-Chunk were forced to cede the territory to the United States in 1832. The United States and the State of Wisconsin tried for decades to forcibly remove the Ho-Chunk from Wisconsin through a coordinated program of ethnic cleansing. But we were unsuccessful.
Today I honor the legacy of resistance and resilience of the Ho-Chunk people and I recognize and respect the inherent sovereignty of the Ho-Chunk Nation.
You’re probably reading this somewhere else in the world. We encourage you to look up the native history of the land you use every day. Here’s a site to help.
And we invite you to acknowledge the indigenous origins of your location in the comments on Facebook.
Yours in nerddom,