A call for better cooperation between the state and Wisconsin’s Native American tribes, as lawmakers heard the 13th annual State of the Tribes address at the Capitol Tuesday.
Stockbridge-Munsee Community President Shannon Holsey delivered the annual speech, and urged members of the Legislature to reach out their hands to tribal leaders. “We are ready to begin work on the challenges we all face,” she said. “We need to build bridges, not walls.”
Holsey asked lawmakers to protect Native American burial sites and the environment, noting that “water is life” and changes in mining regulations could threaten a valuable resource. She also called on state educators to help preserve and teach about the traditions of the state’s tribes.
Holsey’s speech did not mention the Stockbridge-Munsee’s decision to withhold a $932,000 gaming compact payment to the state, which is tied to a disagreement over the expansion of a Ho-Chunk casino in Bowler.