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Grant Arndt
Iowa State University of Science and Technology (Ames, IA 50011-2000)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2018 – 6/30/2019

Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) “Indian News” in Depression-Era Wisconsin

A book-length study of the weekly newspaper columns of four Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) writers in 1930s and 1940s Wisconsin.

In the 1930s and 1940s, four members of the Ho-Chunk Nation in Wisconsin developed an innovative form of indigenous media activism, writing weekly “Indian News” columns in local white-run newspapers published in towns near their homes. Their columns became popular with non-Indian readers even as they gave voice to Ho-Chunk frustrations and outrage over the discrimination and poverty they faced in American society. This book project examines the unique and previously forgotten corpus of over 1,300 articles they wrote, exploring how the four columnists addressed some of the most important years in American Indian history, during which they confronted the challenges of the Great Depression and World War II and debated the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. The latter allowed Indian communities to create new tribal governments, offering Ho-Chunk people the most significant opportunity for collective action they had encountered since being forced to cede their homeland a century earlier.