Beloit Diversity Projects offers insight insto Ho-Chunk culture

By C-Ann Cleveland

October 24-25th were beautiful sunny autumn days. It was a great week to celebrate the Beloit Diversity Project. This year, we coordinated with Mr. Douglas Williams, Beloit Superintendent and Ms. Tasha Bell, Diversity Coordinator, so all students and staff could enjoy and learn about the Ho-Chunk Nation. We took 24 dancers to Beloit and had eight dance performances for grades K-12.
On behalf of the Ho-Chunk Nation and their funding, a big THANK YOU to all those that were involved in making this project a success: Bobby Blackdeer, Garrick Cleveland Sr., Samson Funmaker, Cody Greendeer, and Chad Tahchawwickah for all the beautiful songs sung with the Winnebago Sons drum; David Greendeer and Samson Funmaker.
Thank you to our MC’s, for all the explaining of regalia and giving the students and staff some awesome history and knowledge about the Ho-Chunk Nation and Native Americans in general; Mr. Clayton Winneshiek and son Levi Winneshiek for leading us into the dance arena and for our Chief and his encouraging words to us all.
Thank you to Mr. Wilbert Cleveland and Mr. Robert Mann for representing our Ho-Chunk veterans; Calista Stumblingbear for representing as Senior Miss Winnebago Princess; Jackie Cleveland for representing as Miss Downs Syndrome Princess.
Thank you to all the beautiful dancers – Bella Blackdeer, Zahay Calabese, Buster Cleveland, David Cleveland, Jackie Cleveland, Levi Cleveland, Eliza Cloud, Heather Green, Arielle Hall, Celina Hall, Mya Hall, Garrison Johnson, Naomi Littlegeorge, Robert Mann, Ashley Rave, Olivia Rave, DJ Scott, Calista Stumblingbear, Azrielle Swallow, Tara Swallow, Rayvon Walker, Clayton Winneshiek, Levi Winneshiek and myself.
Thank you to Sommer Reel for being with us for those two days and all the work you did in organizing and working with the Treasury Department. And last but not least, thank you Ms. Tasha Bell, for setting the dance schedule and also for the delicious lunches and drinks you had provided for our nourishment.
A great time was had by all and the Beloit School District enjoyed learning and interacting with our dance group, chaperones and singers.