History of the Winneshiek's:
Chief's John, Ben, Mike, and
our present chief, Chief Clayton Winneshiek


November 1, 2002




Chief John Winneshiek
Chief John Winneshiek

In 1986 Benjamin W. Winneshiek replaced Chief John Winneshiek as chief of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Benjamin W. Winneshiek was the son of William and Ruth (Red Cloud) Winneshiek. Benjamin W. Winneshiek died May 1998. Benjamin W. Winneshiek married the former Imogene Swallow on March 8, 1952. The couple first lived at Dells Dam until moving to rural Black River Falls in 1964. Imogene died on April 27, 1998, eight days prior to her husband Ben's death.

Benjamin Walter Winneshiek

Taking the place of Benjamin W. Winneshiek, as chief of the Ho-Chunk Nation, was Mike Winneshiek, son of Chief John Winneshiek.
Mike Winneshiek passed away on Saturday May 6, 2000.
He is depicted in the following photographs below at our 1998 Memorial Day Pow Wow, which is held annually in Black River Falls, Wisconsin.
Click on the images below to see the full size images.


Chief Mike

Mike with Red Cloud's

The next several photographs depict Chief Mike Winneshiek dancing with the Chak-hah-chee Youth Dancers from Nekoosa (June 1998).

Click on the images below to see the full size images.


Chief Mike Dancing

Chief Mike Dancing

Chief Mike Dancing

The following excerpt appeared in the June 6, 2001 edition of our tribal newspaper, in an article titled "A Memorable Memorial Day Weekend Celebration."


Chief Clayton Winneshiek

"Carrying on an old tradition, clan leaders announced the new traditional chief on Sunday. Clayton Winneshiek, son of Chief Benjamin Winneshiek, was recognized as the traditional leader of the Ho-Chunk Wazijaci.
Chief Clayton Winneshiek of Black River Falls replaces Chief Michael Winneshiek, who passed away last year.
Clan Leaders placed a war bonnet upon Chief Clayton, followed by an elaborate give away and honor dance.
Leaders from neighboring tribes expressed their gratitude for witnessing the traditional event. Spectators from across the world were so impressed by the event they expressed their thanks by donating to the pow-wow."


To view the inauguration of Chief Clayton, click here.


Go to next page to learn about the Ho-Chunk Nation's Memorial and Labor Day Pow Wows.


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