La Crosse celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day for fifth official year

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — A day to recognize tradition and culture.

Monday marked Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

For the first time, La Crosse celebrated at Burns Park.

The celebration included traditional crafts and games.

La Crosse is one of the Ho-Chunk Nation’s original villages.

Members of the nation say this year’s event–and the city’s official proclamation of Indigenous Peoples’ Day– is a sign of respect to those who have been in the area for centuries.

“Some of us have still been here for a long time, we’ve called it home and so by the parks department asking to help with this, it really means a lot that they’re respecting us and helping us find a way to celebrate those of us who are still here,” said Tracy Littlejohn, an organizer of Monday’s celebration.

Monday’s events started off with the raising of the Ho-Chunk Nation’s flag at City Hall.

Members of the Ho-Chunk nation say that Indigenous Peoples’ Day is not only about bringing the community together but also about raising everyone’s awareness of tribal history.

“There were a lot of harsh realities that the Ho-Chunk Nation and the people has faced and honestly, finally getting it out there and letting people know,” said District 2 Legislator of the Ho-Chunk Nation, Conroy Greendeer.

This was the fifth year La Crosse officially recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day.