Healing Minnesota Stories Ventures into Wisconsin

Poster of Oliver La Mere in Wisconsin Capitol rotunda.

Kind of sounds like an April Fool’s Day headline, doesn’t it?

Just sharing that the Madison-based Wisconsin State Journal published an Op-Ed I wrote: Bring back American Indian tour guides to state Capitol.

As those who follow this blog know, for the last few years I have been researching state capitol art and its images of Native Americans and early state history. Not surprisingly, much of this art has negative and inaccurate images of Native peoples. (Minnesota’s Capitol is right up there with its images of Manifest Destiny. See our blog’s Capitol Art page.)

Last month, I visited friends in Madison and toured its state Capitol with my friend Kathy Mathes. The Capitol is celebrating is centennial and large posters recounting the building’s history filled the rotunda. One such poster honored Oliver La Mer (Ho Chunk) who led special Capitol tours on Native American history and culture in the late 1920s. I blogged on it, encouraging Wisconsin to revive the idea:  Wisconsin Once Had Ho Chunk Capitol Tour Guide Focused on Native Cultures, What Happened?

I lived in Madison for a number of years, writing for The Capital Times. I sent the blog to some Wisconsin journalist friends hoping they might pick up on the idea and write about it. My friend Bill Lueders, managing editor for The Progressive, encouraged me to submit my own Op-Ed, and he helped me whip into shape.

Thank you, Bill!

One thought on “Healing Minnesota Stories Ventures into Wisconsin

  1. What a fabulous idea! A recent post renovation tour I took, capitol tour guide lacked nuance and depth of understanding of art removal in governor’s reception. Presented it from a Political correctness tone. (I offered some more information:)

    Congratulations on the Madison OpEd ! How about doing a Pioneer Press or Star Tribune version?

    Thanks for all of you work, Scott!


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