Marquette students create map showcasing Indigenous history of Milwaukee landmarks

MILWAUKEE – A team of Marquette University students and faculty are creating an interactive map to showcase the indigenous history of Milwaukee’s landmarks.

Clare Camblin is a Junior Marquette and proud of her indigenous heritage. She joined the team that was working on the map.

“I belong to the Osage Nation Eagle Clan,” said Camblin.

Associate Prof. Bryan Rindfleisch started the project.

“We’re taking all of these different Milwaukee landmarks, like the Museum of Art, Juneau Park, Solomon Juneau statue, the festival grounds, Milwaukee Ball Park,” Beef said. “And essentially uncovering the indigenous roots of these places and talking about the indigenous nature of these sites.”

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Some of the other sites are the Indian Community School, McKinley Coast Guard Station, MPS First Nation Studies Program, Lake Park Indian Mounds, and the Milwaukee River.

The map will soon be a website where you can see pictures, hear interviews, and read notes about each location. Beef says the goal is to catalog more than 100 places.

“I want you to see wherever you live or walk, or especially on this campus, that our students see all the opportunities in which indigenous communities are involved in this place,” said Rindfleisch.

There are more than 7,500 Indians living in Milwaukee County, according to the 2020 census. According to beef, Milwaukee is home to one of the largest populations of Native Americans in the Midwest.

“We’re not just talking about Menominee, Ho-Chunk, and Potawatomi peoples, we’re talking about Lakota, Dakota peoples from the Dakotas. We’re talking about the Shawnee peoples of Oklahoma. We are talking about the Navajo peoples from the southwest. That’s unique about a city like this, “said Rindfleisch.

Beef emphasized the importance of people learning about indigenous heritage – past, present and future.

“At the same time create awareness, just tell people if you just look at the ground you are walking on,” said Rindfleisch. “These are not just Menominee, Ho Chunk and Potawatomi lands, but the bones of their ancestors are here in the lands you walk through. And basically just to get Milwaukee to own that, ”Beef said.

“It just blows my mind that so many things can be built on Aboriginal soil and no one knows about it,” said Camblin.

Cameron Fronczak is a Marquette student from California. He says learning about Indian history gave him a better understanding of where he lives. He hopes others feel the same way.

“I just felt more connected to my city, my area and my state in general,” said Fronczak.

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