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News Release

Ho-Chunk Nation

The Ho-Chunk Nation Chicago Branch Office was vandalized with spray-painted antisemitic symbolism. “Crimes like this are a betrayal to the core human value — love one another,” Ho-Chunk Nation Vice-President Karena Thundercloud states. “This is not simply old-fashioned Nazism. This was an act of terror. It is indicative of the movement toward a social climate unwelcoming to ALL people of color or all faiths and beliefs. Hate will not be tolerated.”

The Ho-Chunk Nation is making contacts with local and federal law enforcement to find those responsible. Crimes that fall into this category activate an entirely different response. The Nation encourages all community leaders to send a strong rebuke against this violence, and to send a message that our families, our friends, and our communities reject the symbols and sentiments of white nationalism.

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Ho-Chunk people, like most American Indians, have been subjected to bias, hate, and violence under the guise of white supremacism from the time of colonialism. Despite that, American Indians have the highest record of US military service per capita compared to any other ethnicity. Fourteen Ho-Chunk World War II veterans were officially recognized as Code Talkers. Those Code Talkers used terms in native languages to relay coded messages without enemy knowledge. Tribal leaders have codified into tribal law the traditional teaching of Kiišak Waiš’ak or giving respect to everyone — with special consideration to veterans and others.

“The branch office is a place of gathering and fellowship for our community. We share laughs there. We share meals there. We share love there. Communities need to feel safe,” Thundercloud continued. “I am grateful for the compassion and harmony with the overwhelming majority of our neighbors. We will move forward with strength and kindness.”

The Ho-Chunk Nation will keep the community posted on any developments regarding this very important matter.

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