fbpx
facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1
 

MADISON, Wisc. — Wisconsin tribal leaders, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and Native American Rights Fund (NARF) officials joined Four Directions, a Native American voter advocacy group, at the Orpheum Theater in Madison, Wisc. on Monday, October 24, 2022, for a 2022 midterm elections forum. 

OJ Semans, Sr., co-founder of Four Directions, said the organization chose Wisconsin to hold the forum because it is a battleground state. 

“This race in Wisconsin is going to be coming down maybe a couple of thousand votes, If not less, It's going to be that highly contested. And so, it's really important that tribal leaders throughout Wisconsin talk to their members and get out the vote,” Semans said.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, was the major candidate who showed up in person for the forum. Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Tribe President Shannon Holsey introduced the governor who has worked closely with Wisconsin tribes during the past four years.

Halsey said: “We know that there is an assault on democracy, and it's very delicate. And when I say democracy is very delicate, I don't mean delicate like a flower. I mean, delicate like a bomb, and we need somebody that is going to strike that balance and bring all different voices together, and come up to a resolution of what we need to do to be as Wisconsin citizens in a unified way to make the state as great. I know what Governor Evers has already done.” 

Evers told the crowd he respects the sovereignty of the Wisconsin tribes and has during his time as leader of the state’s government governed himself to ensure the tribes were part of discussions of any state policy that would impact the tribes. 

“I really appreciate the opportunity to talk about our relationship with our sovereign tribal nations. The word sovereignty means a lot to me. I have an understanding of what sovereignty is. I always felt that all the tribal nations of Wisconsin were sovereign. As a result of that, we spend a lot of time together. We have monthly phone calls to discuss issues. During the pandemic,we worked together–sometimes daily–to make sure that the people who reside in the tribal nations are kept safe and healthy,” Evers told Wisconsin tribal leaders. 

Never miss Indian Country’s biggest stories and breaking news. Sign up to get our reporting sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning. 

The goal of the forum was to energize the Native vote in Wisconsin and across Indian Country to get out and vote in the midterm elections.

Larry Wright (Ponca), executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, spoke about the impact of the Native vote. 

"When we go to the polls and voice our opinions we honor those who came before and made sacrifices precisely so that we can determine our own futures in 2020, that is precisely what Native voters did. The Native vote made a huge impact on that election. Despite the challenges posed by COVID 19 pandemic Indian Country was engaged in local and national voting as evidenced by the fact that turnout in 2020 among Native Americans, voters was the highest it's ever been. Data analyzed by NCAIi even showed that the American Indian and Alaska Native voting percentage in seven states was larger than the voting margin that determined the winner,” Wright said.

More Stories Like This

Biden Nominates Salish & Kootenai Tribal Attorney Danna Jackson for Federal Bench
A Conversation With Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan: What We Can Celebrate Around the State
Return to the Heart Foundation Gives 44 Micro-Grants to Native Women Leaders
Indigenous Journalists Association President Addresses Members of the UNPFII
Inter-Tribal Council Passes Resolution Urging FCC to Establish Specific Event Code for Missing and Endangered Persons

Native Perspective.  Native Voices.  Native News. 

We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers.  We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

 
About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi "Calm Before the Storm" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected].