74 minutes | May 31, 2021

Patty Loew, "Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal"

Stu Levitan welcomes the renowned broadcast journalist, educator and author Patty Loew, formerly of Madison, for a conversation about the second edition of her award-winning book Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal, from our very good friends at the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. Wisconsin has about 87,000 American Indians living on about 647,000 acres of reservation and in various urban and rural settings, about 1.5% of the state’s population on about 1.5 percent of the state’s land mass. But despite those small percentages, the 11 federally recognized nations and tribal communities – Menominee, Oneida, Ho-Chunk, Forest County Potawatomi, Stockbridge-Munsee, and the six bands of the Lake Superior Ojibwe, plus the unrecognized Brothertown Indian Nation – have played a huge role in our history, economy and culture. Telling that history is the business that occupies Patty Loew in Indian Nations of Wisconsin, a comprehensive and accessible account, heavily illustrated, with maps and tables showing the changes over time in the location and population of the Nations. It’s a book she is extremely, perhaps uniquely qualified to tell. Because, as an enrolled Member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe with a Ph D, she has both studied this history, and lived it. Now, while you were watching Patty Loew the award-winning reporter/anchor on WKOW-TV from the mid-70s to the late-90s and producer/host on Wisconsin Public Television from 1991-2011, you probably didn’t realize that Patty Loew the student was also working towards a masters and doctorate in mass communications from the UW-Madison, with a dissertation on “The Chippewa and Their Newspapers in the ‘UnProgressive Era.’” Upon getting that doctorate in 1998, she continued on TV for a few years, but also became Patty Loew the Professor, in the UW’s Department of Life Sciences Communication, where she remained until 2017. That’s when she became Professor Emerita and moved to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she also directs the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research. As broadcast journalist and author, she has won numerous state, national and even international awards, and has received numerous honors, including the Outstanding Service Award, Great Lakes Inter-tribal Council. Her book Seventh Generation Earth Ethics: Native Voices of Wisconsin, also from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press, won the Midwest Book Award in 2014, while the first edition of Indian Nations of Wisconsin received the 2001 Outstanding Book Award, Wisconsin Library Association, so we know how good a third edition would be. She has also written an award-winning textbook for fourth-graders, Native People of Wisconsin, along with a teacher’s guide co-written by our own Back to the Country co-host Bobbi Malone. It is a real pleasure to welcome to MBB, a friend to us all, Patty Loew.
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