La Crosse looks to re-locate controversial Hiawatha Statue

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – The City of La Crosse is working on a plan to return the Hiawatha statue to the artist’s family.

The statue’s future has been an issue of controversy for the city for a long time. Partially because the name “Hiawatha” has no connection to native tribes from the area, and because the statue is unable to be moved without first being repaired.

La Crosse’s Mayor Tim Kabat says the issue will be a topic of discussion for the coming year.

“What we’re really trying to do is respect the artists’ family and what they have told us. They’ve told us that they would like to see the statue preserved forever, but they’re plan is to have it somewhere else – to preserve it long-term somewhere else. So, we’re just really trying to work through those issues right now,” said Kabat.

The statue was last repaired in 2001, costing more than $35,000.