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On Location: The Ho-Chunk Treaty Trail

Trails lead people from one place to another. We generally think of them as physical routes worn into the ground by the footsteps of travelers, but a trail can also be defined in a broader sense as a path through life's circumstances. For many Ho-Chunk people, their trail of forced expulsion was marked by a succession of treaty-mandated reservations where families were forced to relocate, adapt, and carry on their lives in the midst of trauma. Retrace this path with us from Wisconsin through Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. May we remember and reflect on this continuing story as we go "On Location."

This series dovetails with "Walking Wawa’ąįja" — an outdoor  exhibition  created  on  our  grounds in  conjunction  with  the  Ho-Chunk  Nation  Museum  and  Cultural  Center. Walking Wawa’ąįja focuses on the voices of those who remained in or returned to Wisconsin, navigating this era of forced expulsion right here in their own homeland.

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Episode #1: Introduction (4:24)

For thousands of Ho-Chunks, the trail of forced expulsion extended hundreds of miles beyond the borders of Wisconsin.

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Episode #2: Prelude to the Neutral Ground (21:04)

Tensions reached a crescendo as miners illegally flooded onto Ho-Chunk homeland. The treaty trail journey commenced.

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Episode #3: "Being Cast In Between" (9:42)

Positioned as human buffers between warring tribes, the Ho-Chunk people faced hardship in the Neutral Ground.

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Episode #4: "Between Two Fires" (13:17)

Removed by treaty from Iowa to the Long Prairie reservation in Minnesota, Ho-Chunk families continued to live under a pall of threat.

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Episode #5: From Hope to Crow Creek (19:40)

New Beginnings at Blue Earth gave way to tragedy and trauma.

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Episode #6: Enduring and Pressing On (17:32)

Ho-Chunk refugees reached a safe haven in Nebraska. Ho-Chunks both in Nebraska and Wisconsin have persevered, and the trail continues on.

Go back in time...

Explore the historic landscape of almost 200 years ago—the homeland of the Ho-Chunk Nation—through "On Location: The 1832 Landscape" (2022 video series).  We also encourage you to take some time to peruse "A Landscape of Families," an outdoor exhibit and its accompanying in-depth website, produced in conjunction with the Ho-Chunk Nation Museum and Cultural Center.

The Ho-Chunk Treaty Trail 2024

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