Sandra Ninham, left and Alma Webster, shown in 2013 beneath the portrait of Irene Moore, who was the first woman elected to lead the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin. Photo: Bingo Queens of Oneida
Openings & Closings

WUWM: 'Bingo Queens' shows power of Oneida Nation women



WUWM talks to Sandra Ninham Brehmer, one of the Oneida Nation women featured in The Bingo Queens of Oneida: How Two Moms Started Tribal Gaming in Wisconsin:
The Bingo Queens of Oneida: How Two Moms Started Tribal Gaming in Wisconsin
A new book details the beginnings of Indian gaming back in the 1970s. The Bingo Queens of Oneida: How Two Moms Started Tribal Gaming in Wisconsin sheds new light on the Green Bay area tribe’s first foray into the phenomenon.

It’s written by Mike Hoeft, a former reporter for the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Hoeft was encouraged to write this book by his wife, who is a native Oneida member. Her mother, Sandra Ninham Brehmer, is one of the women who founded the bingo business in the Oneida tribe.

Ninham Brehmer, along with cofounder Alma Webster, had a lot of support from their elders. One of those key supporters was Purcell “Percy” Powless, who was a tribal leader in the Oneida tribe and saw the benefits that the bingo profits could bring to the community.

“I don’t care where we were; if we were in Washington, DC, or in front of some big conference, you know, when we’d have to speak, he’d introduce us as ‘his bingo queens,’” says Ninham Brehmer.

Get the Story:
B-9!: How Two Oneida Women Dabbed Bingo into the Tribe's History to Save Community (WUWM 7/17)

Related Stories:
Book details how Oneida Nation women opened first bingo hall (05/15)