In honor of Native American Heritage Month, November, this Moment in History is about Helen Miner Miller, Ho-Chunk Nation member and advocate. Helen was the first Native American person to attend Luther College. She had attended a Lutheran mission school in Wittenberg-Ingersoll, Wisconsin, which had been founded by Luther graduates in 1885. The school was focused upon the education of Native American children in the area, and allowed Miller to retain and develop her Hocak language as well as English. The school prepared her to live in the multicultural United States and encouraged her to hold onto her Native American identity. Her time at Luther between 1945 and 1949 continued this and allowed her to develop her talents in business. She graduated from Luther with a degree in Economics and Business Education and later received a Master’s and Doctorate in Business Education. She served as a teacher and as an active leader in the political, social, and cultural preservation of the Ho-Chunk Nation (Wisconsin Winnebago Tribe) in Wisconsin. Her role as a Native American leader led to the official recognition of the tribe as a nation by the US government in the 1960s.
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