MILWAUKEE, WI – The following is the statement of County Executive David Crowley recognizing November as Native American Heritage Month in Milwaukee County:
“It is with great reverence that we observe November as Native American Heritage Month in Milwaukee County. In the spirit of our commitment to racial equity, it has become regular practice to respectfully acknowledge the native land we stand on: traditional Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, and Menominee homeland right on the southwest shore of Michigami.
“For more than five hundred years, our Native communities have demonstrated incredible resilience in the face of violent attempts to separate them from their land, culture, and history. By respectfully acknowledging that we stand on land taken from its rightful stewards, we hope to extend an important and necessary gesture towards honoring our Native brothers and sisters.
“Despite being the very first stewards of this land, our Native residents have been left out of the picture for generations when we think of the historical development of Milwaukee County. That is unacceptable, especially when Wisconsin remains home to eleven federally recognized American Indian nations and tribal communities. I believe that our Native history is an essential part of our American history, and of our culture.
“Furthermore, Native residents continue to make significant contributions to our community and our nation. From the Native American business owners and school-teachers who contribute to successful communities, all the way to the U.S. Department of the Interior, where Secretary Deb Haaland became the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary earlier this year. They all deserve our thanks and our respect, not just in November, but every day.
“Milwaukee County’s vision to achieve racial equity and become the healthiest county in the state includes the well-being of our Native brothers and sisters. It is my hope that by continuing to implement our strategic plan, which moves resources upstream to bridge the gap in health disparities, we will help repair the relationship with our Native residents, and the many communities that have been left behind or excluded by government policy throughout history, to tell the true story of our community and set future generations up for even greater success.”