Lance Morgan: An award for Winnebago parents
Lance Morgan, a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, serves as CEO of Ho-Chunk Inc., the tribe's economic development corporation. Ho-Chunk Inc owns Indianz.Com and AllNative.Com

The Best Laid Plans
I am sitting in the Washington DC, airport waiting to fly home. I thought I was being clever this week. I had to come to DC on Monday for a meeting, but I also had to be in Northern Minnesota on Tuesday morning to meet with a tribe that is interested in buying some of our products. I have been trying to get this tribe to buy from us for over a year, so I couldn’t miss the meeting.

The only way I could make the meeting is if I drove to Minneapolis on Sunday and flew out from there and came back the next day and drove north to the Tribe. I figured I could just make it if I didn’t have any problems. But sometimes clever doesn’t pay. I just got a call from the Tribe and they postponed the Tuesday meeting till next month. So now I am flying to Minneapolis and driving home tonight, which doesn’t now seem so clever. After 16 years of working with tribes, I should have known that my plan was going to fail.

Indian Parents of the Year
I recently read an article about an Indian couple who won National Indian Parents of the Year! I read the article and they were pretty good parents. They were setting a good example and balancing culture, family, work and emphasizing education for their family. What was strange is that it was the second time they had won the award.

Are you kidding me? We have repeat winners? We couldn’t find another set of parents to qualify? I thought maybe it was nepotism, but then I realized that maybe we should lower the bar a little.

What would it take to win Indian parents of the year in Winnebago? First of all, it is plural and that means that there has to be two parents and if you stipulate that it has to be two biological parents then the list is getting short fast. Too bad, grandparents don’t count.

I think that picking the Winnebago parents of the year is going to be tough. I know I might be getting carried away now, but all the kids must come from the same set of parents and must be currently living with the kids. Both parents must also be Indian and oh yeah, they must be actually married—to each other! At least one of the parents should be employed and have a higher education if possible. This is getting tough and I haven’t even discussed how the parents interact with the kids yet.

I think the parents should read to the kids, teach them sports, limit their video game usage and tv watching and focus on both their formal and cultural education. Dang, this is getting tough. Ok, you can let them watch some TV, but you can only go to the casino once a week and no trips to the Bonanza Bar, except at lunch.

Well with these qualifications I must admit I am at a loss to identify any obvious candidates. I don’t even quality for lots of reasons. So if you know of anyone who has all or just most of the qualifications, let me know I will give them the Winnebago Parents of the Year Award. First prize is $100 payable personally by me. (Note to my own mother: you and dad are not eligible to win) I don’t mind paying out the prize, but if it becomes an annual award, I sure hope we don’t have repeat winners, but I suppose I would understand now if we did.

I think next time, I am going with Winnebago Single Mother of the Year, it will be a lot easier and I bet we have a ton of great examples. What the heck, if you have a good story and qualify for Indian Single Mother of the Year, I will give out another $100 first prize, but be warned I might write about you. Email me at if you want to win. Must be present at home with your kids when I deliver the prize to win.