New Ho-Chunk Nation sign greets passers-by on Milwaukee in Jefferson Park
by BRIAN NADIG
The Chicago branch office of the Ho-Chunk Nation at 4738 N. Milwaukee Ave. has become more visible to passers-by thanks to the recent installation of a new sign with the tribe’s official symbol.
The office provides a variety of services for Native-Americans, but Ho-Chunk leaders are hoping to host cultural activities, food drives and other events there which will appeal to all area residents.
“We’re hoping to be more of a community center,” Ho-Chunk community outreach specialist Nathan Dall said at the May 31 meeting of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association.
The office opened at its current location at the southwest corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Giddings Street three years ago. The building’s previous occupants included Stanton Hobby Shop and Polonia Bookstore.
Ho-Chunk Nation, whose headquarters is in Black River Falls, WI, has had several different office locations in the Jefferson Park and Portage Park area since the early 1990s.
The office, which is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, provides non-emergency medical transportation for seniors, employment opportunity services and on-site Internet access for members. Forms also are available for a variety of school grants and other financial assistance programs.
There are about 7,000 Native-Americans living in Chicago, representing more than 150 tribes, and about 30,000 living in Illinois, according to Chicago branch office president John Dall.
As a child, Dall attended the Congregational Church of Jefferson Park, 5320 W. Giddings St. The neighborhood association’s meetings are held the last Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the basement of the church.
A representative of the branch office will be speaking at the Jefferson Park Chamber’s general meeting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, June 8, at the Copernicus Center Annex, 5214 W. Lawrence Ave.
In other matters, association officials encouraged members to attend a “bags and bingo” fund-raiser for Northwest Side Unite from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 8, at Mo Dailey’s Pub, 6070 N. Northwest Highway.
Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children and include pizza and bingo. There also is a $30 per team entry fee for the bags tournament.
The funds will be used to pay for legal fees associated with a lawsuit filed against a development proposal at 5150 N. Northwest Highway.
It also as reported that the first outdoor Jefferson Memorial Park farmers market of the season will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 11, at the park, 4822 N. Long Ave.
In addition, the “Jeff Fest” arts and music festival will be held the weekend of Aug. 4-6 in the park. Pop legend the Buckinghams and 1980s tribute band 16 Candles will be performing at the festival.