Monday, September 23, 2013

A historic partnership takes shape

Left to right: UW System Regent Ed Manydeeds, Ho-Chunk Nation
President Jon Greendeer and Chancellor James Schmidt during
the Sept. 23 signing of a memorandum of intent by UW-Eau Claire
and the Ho-Chunk Nation.
Today was a historic day for UW-Eau Claire and for the Ho-Chunk Nation, as we formalized our commitment to collaborate on the creation of a living-learning community at The Priory for members of the Ho-Chunk Nation. As Ho-Chunk Nation President Jon Greendeer stated during our agreement-signing ceremony this morning, we are pioneers among UW System universities in this collaboration.

The living-learning community will not only  lead to more higher education options for members of the Ho-Chunk Nation, it will include an important cultural aspect through which Native American students enrolled in the program will receive an education in the Ho-Chunk language and culture from Ho-Chunk elders in residence. The beautiful natural setting at The Priory is the perfect place for this endeavor, evoking introspection and the sense of solemn responsibility for our environment that is so central to Ho-Chunk tradition.

I'm excited about the future as I think about the opportunities of this new partnership, with its promise of enrichment for the UW-Eau Claire community, the Ho-Chunk nation and the region.