GREEN BAY — 200 years ago on September 23, four sovereign nations signed treaties on the banks of the river by Fort Howard. Friday was a commemoration of this historic event.
"A lot of times, we read some of the history books, and maybe they aren't as accurate as we'd like them to be. But nevertheless, they're documented. Today, we're talking about a document from 200 years ago, whether good or bad... tied our nations together," Marlon WhiteEagle, President of Ho Chunk Nation, said.
Oneida Hymn Singers greeted people including tribal leaders and members at the Fur Trader's cabin in Heritage Hill. Chairmen of the Oneida, Menominee and Ho Chunk Nations spoke about the history and importance of the 1822 treaties.
Wisconsin State Senator Robert Cowles read a state proclamation.
A historical photograph was also recreated. What was worn represented what the Native men who signed the treaty would have worn.
WhiteEagle said the day was about "positive steps," and the Oneida nation is "thriving today."
Hugh Danforth, an Oneida Nation member and advocate, said he was "so proud" of the day and of his daughter, Michelle Danforth, for organizing the event.
Oneida culture was celebrated through prayers, food and traditional smoke dances. The community was invited to join in dancing and came together to honor the past, present and future.
"These are my people," Danforth said.