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Kalihwisaks 2019 Year in Review


Eric Boulanger was sworn in as the new Oneida Police Department Chief at the Wednesday, January 23 OBC meeting.

The Oneida General Tribal Council (GTC) convened its first meeting of the new year on January 21 at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center. Election Law amendments were tabled, a report on the Oneida Youth Leadership Institute was accepted as information, the 120-day Petition Timeline was extended to 180 days, and changes to the petition process was requested to be brought back to a future meeting.


The annual Honor the Youth Powwow was held on February 23 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center.

The annual Family Fun Night was held on February 27 at the Oneida Nation Elementary School.


The Oneida Nation, along with Brown, Outagamie, Calumet, and Winnebago counties, has signed on to the Northeast Wisconsin Water Quality Pact to collaborate in the development of plans to protect the region’s water basin March 5 during the 20th Annual Watershed Conference held at Lambeau Field.

A previously cancelled Special General Tribal Council (GTC) meeting took place on Sunday, March 17, at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center. A Sanctions and Penalties Law was deferred for 60 days, a petition to rescind the Oneida Nation’s Removal Law was rejected, a petition for term limits wasn’t heard due to the petitioner not being at the meeting, and the OBC held an open discussion with the GTC regarding the multiple $5,000 membership per capita petitions that were not permitted to move forward in 2018. Finally, a resolution reaffirming the Declaration of Confidentiality of General Tribal Council Meetings was passed.

Approximately 1,540 GTC members were on hand for the Nation’s annual meeting at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center on March 25. The GTC accepted and external audit by RSM US, LLP of the tribes finances, approved GTC meeting minutes from March – September 2018, accepted a report from the Trust Enrollment Committee, accepted a petition to pay Medicare B premiums as information only, accepted the  2019 annual Treasurer’s report, and accepted the  2019 annual Land Acquisition report and the 2019 annual reports.

Federal Court Judge William Griesbach issued a ruling in the ongoing dispute between the Oneida Nation and the Village of Hobart on March 28 regarding the village’s attempts to enforce a special events permit ordinance on the Nation for its annual Big Apple Fest event. Griesbach concluded the reservation that has not been disestablished, but he further wrote “Congress’s intent to at least diminish the Reservation is manifest in the Dawes Act and the Act of 1906” and “the Nation’s reservation has been diminished such that the village may enforce the Ordinance on those lands not held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the Nation.” The ruling is being appealed by the Oneida Nation who argues the reservation is not diminished.


The annual Oneida Nation Fishing Ceremony was held near the Duck Creek Bridgeway in Site I due to the weather-related closure of Pamperin Park on April 5.

Debbie Thundercloud became General Manager (GM) of the Oneida Nation April 7.

Oneida Nation Chairman Tehassi Hill delivered the 15th annual State of the Tribes Address before the State Legislature April 9 in the Wisconsin State Capitol Building in Madison.

To help remember Oneida Nation veterans who were wounded or killed in action the Oneida Business Committee (OBC) took official action and proclaimed the Oneida Nation a Purple Heart Reservation during the April 24 OBC meeting.


Wayne “Buggin” won the Indigenous Music Award for Best Rap/Hip Hop Album category for his release of Humanity Vol. 1.  May 17.


The 20th Annual Youth & Elder Fishing Day took place June 8 at Finger Lake Park after being rescheduled due to weather.

Jaisah Yelihwanolu Lee was crowned Miss Oneida 2019-2020 at the Annual Miss Oneida Pageant held at Thornberry Creek at Oneida June 19. Crowned Jr. Miss Oneida was Natavia Adams, and Zacarias Skenandore took the honor of being crowned Lil Miss Oneida

Jemima Metoxen, age 16, Ophelia Powless, age 16, and Sophia Caulon age 18 were dis-interred from the Carlisle Indian Industrial School Burial Grounds in Pennsylvania the week of June 15-22 and a funeral service was held June 28 at Holy Apostles Church.

The Oneida Nation hosted the 47th Annual Oneida Powwow Friday, June 28 to Sunday, June 30 on the Norbert Hill Center Powwow Grounds.


Shanshan Feng posted a sensational bogey-free 63 (-9) to reach an unassailable total of 29-under-par to capture the famous Skywoman trophy at the 2019 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic held July 2-7.

More than 1,500 GTC members gathered July 11 at the Radisson Hotel & Hotel Conference Center to convene the 2019 Semi-Annual GTC Meeting. GTC Meeting minutes from Oct. 28, 2018, Dec. 10, 2018, Jan. 21, 2019, March 17, 2019 were accepted, the GTC voted to not approve the amendments to the Election Law, the 2019 semi-annual Treasurer’s Report was accepted as was the semi-annual Land Acquisition report. The GTC voted against a proposed “GTC Directs – Petition Process,” approved $250,000 for a ‘Disability Endowment’, and heard an update regarding the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).


Safety Town 2019 took place August 5-9 at the Clifford Webster Recreation Center in Oneida.

The 2019 Annual Diabetes Event took place August 28 at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center. keynote speaker was Dr. Evan Adams, best known for his portrayal of Thomas Builds-The-Fire in the acclaimed 1998 film ‘Smoke Signals.’


More than 1,600 GTC members convened September 16 at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center to approve the Nation’s fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget. The GTC also Okayed sponsorship of a competitive pool/billiard tournament in Oneida.

The Oneida Nation’s 10th Annual Big Apple Fest was held September 21.

Panelists from various communities around Wisconsin were asked to speak at the 35th annual installment of Farm Aid, the music and food festival founded by music legend Willie Nelson, September 21 at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wis.

The 2019 Food Sovereignty Summit nurtured growth of Native American food production for 350 attendees September 23-26 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center.


Tsyunhehkwa hosted their annual Harvest Fest Saturday, October 5.

Oneida’s Higher Education Department held their college fair for prospective students October 10 at Thornberry Creek at Oneida.

Hundreds of community members and area local leaders gathered at the newly-named Amelia Cornelius Culture Park (formerly known as the Cultural Heritage Grounds) October 14 to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day.

Ghosts, aliens, and super heroes descended on the Oneida Civic Center for the annual Boo Bash October 25


Oneida Nation School System students and staff celebrated Rock Your Mocs Friday, November 15.

Dozens of spectators descended into downtown Oneida Wednesday, November 20, for the annual Lighting of the Trees.

Oneida community members came together at the 20th Annual Thanksgiving Day Community Feast on Thursday, November 28 at Parish Hall.


More than 1,500 General Tribal Council (GTC) members were in attendance as the July 11, 2019, semi-annual meeting was reconvened December 3 at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center. A report on the LPGA was accepted as information only, but with any unanswered questions to be brought back before GTC during the January 2020 Annual Meeting. A resolution entitled Establishing Rule Regarding Presentations and Speakers was passed by the GTC.

The Oneida Nation produced a 30 second commercial that was shown on the Jumbotron at the Green Bay Packers Game, December 8, 2019.