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Sunday - February 4, 2018 9:48 pm

Ho-Chunk to meet with city leaders to discuss Hiawatha statue today Featured

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Some members of the La Crosse city council are expected to meet with Ho-Chunk Nation representatives today, to figure out what should happen to the Hiawatha statue.

Two works of art have caused lots of discussion in La Crosse the last couple of months.

One is the Hatched Baby sculpture, which apparently will now be displayed outside La Crosse City Hall. The other is Hiawatha, situated in Riverside Park.

The head of the La Crosse arts board, Doug Weidenbach, believes the baby in an egg is controversial because it's very unusual but the "Hiawatha sculpture, on the other hand, does have this kind of offensive way of stereotyping native peoples."

Ho-Chunk has said the statue does not realistically represent natives from this area.

Weidenbach added there is one resolution to the Hiawatha controversy that is not on the table.

"It's never been the understanding that the way to solve this very tricky, difficult, kind of sensitive issue, is to just destroy it," he said. "That wouldn't serve, I think, any public good."

The fate of the Native American-like statue has been up for debate again since a public forum on artwork back in December. The statue has stood along the Mississippi River since the 1960s.

Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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