Ho-Chunk Nation

Mailing Address

Tribal Office Building
W9814 Airport Road
Black River Falls, WI 54615

Contact Information





Cultural History

The Ho-Chunk Nation has proved to be one of the strongest indigenous Indian nations who have maintained their culture over the years. The main reason, according to them is the fact that their ancestors have held their culture in deep care and nourishment. They calle themselves the Ho Chunk: People of the Sacred Language. 
Their history is traced back to the early beginnings of Earth itself. The early history names the tribe as the People of the Big Voice or the People of the Sacred Language, and the latter is now more commonly used. They originated in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota. Their means of living were hunting, fishing, and gathering plants. According to their elders, they should consider their lands sacred because the Creator had given them all they will ever need in one place: Food, clothing, lodging and even the things they would need to preserve their culture. The Ho Chunk people are known to be compassionate. They never got out their lands and tried to invade other territories, they were helpful and most of all, they were not corrupt. Their Chiefs whom they call Clan Chiefs did their duties as promised and never performed treachery.  Their protégés did the same and followed the diligent teachings of their mentors.
Every family in the tribe belonged to a specific clan in the Nation. The children were raised to be who they are and how they were born thus; identity crisis was not present during their times. They had a rich culture and all of the people cooperated with the government. They moved from place to place, to where food can be found. Because of their migration to other thriving lands, some of them learned different dialects such as those who stayed along the Mississippi. These Ho Chunk people can speak the different dialect of the Ho Chunk. Some of them were the Otoe, the Ponca and the Iowa. The men and women shares duties. The men hunted while it was the women’s task to gather berries and other fruits. They fed on corn, squash, roots, berries and green plants. As early as those times were, they have mastered the art of making maple syrup and maple candy, as well as venison, fresh fish and small game. They have also learned the trick of dying the goods so as to keep it preserved for the winter season. The Ho Chunk People were also known to be good farmers, having taken care of their resources using garden beds. Jewelry making was also a popular industry back then, and they were said to expert silversmiths. Since most families refused to leave their homelands, they were given 40 acres of land for homestead.
As of 2001, there are 6,159 registered members and they own 4,602 acres of land which are all around the 12 counties in Wisconsin. They are currently engaged in casino business as well as resorts and hotels.

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