State of the Tribes: Tribal chairman uses speech to dispel American Indian stereotypes

MADISON — The Lac Courte Oreilles Chippewa band's chairman is using the annual State of the Tribes address to dispel American Indian stereotypes.

Mic Isham told a joint session of the state Senate and Assembly on Tuesday that people still ask him if American Indians live in tee-pees and question why they don't know their own language. He said he tells people they live in houses and Chippewa youth know their native language well. He said Wisconsin schools must do a better job educating children about tribal life.

He called on legislators to recognize tribal contributions to the state and erase perceptions that Wisconsin's tribes are a burden. He also implored legislators to protect the environment, ripping a water body development bill and lack of action to slow chronic wasting disease.