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Reclaiming Traditional Lands: Belief and Philosophy

From the beginning of creation we were placed here, this land is of our ancestors, and ourselves, this is holy land, sacred land. This land is made of all those who came before us, our ancestors whose bodies have returned to the earth, “ashes to ashes and dust to dust”. The land continues to nourish our native people with all that we need. It is from this land that the creator gives us all things.

Therefore all things have a life and all things have a spirit derived from all of those spirits and lives that came before us, they continue to watch over us today and all future generations of our people. This land is sacred, this land is holy, and this land is of us, for us and by us. It is our responsibility to care for and watch over this land with all the respect it demands from us. This is the belief and philosophy of Lowe Consulting, this is what drives the actions that have been taken and that are being taken for the recovery of our Traditional Lands.

Kickapoo Land Reclamation Project

In late 1995, the Legislature of the Ho-Chunk Nation gave the complete responsibility of negotiating for Traditional lands in the Kickapoo River Valley to then President Chloris Lowe, Jr. He proceeded to develop and implement a strategic plan to involve all of the parties in Kickapoo River Valley in an attempt to resolve a 34-year deadlock on the lands of that area in Wisconsin. He involved the law firm of Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry in the negotiations with then federally elected officials: U.S. House of Representative Steve Gunderson (R), U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D), U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D). Their actions resulted in the federal legislation defined as the "1996 Water Resources Development Act." Congress passed this legislation and President Clinton signed the bill, which contained historic legislation. This was the first legislation in the United States that returned federal land to a Native Nation and at the same time placed thousands of acres of land in a joint management agreement between a State and a Federally recognized Nation. It was through this action that 1,200 acres of Traditional land was returned to the Ho-Chunk Nation and an additional 6,369 acres of land is to be jointly managed with the State of Wisconsin.

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