Menominee Nation mourns passing of former chair Lisa Waukau

Lisa Waukau, 1944-2016. Photo from College of Menominee Nation Library / Facebook

Lisa S. Waukau, a former four-term chairwoman of the Menominee Nation of Wisconsin, died on Saturday. She was 71.

Waukau began her service to her people as an educator and teacher on the reservation. She eventually joined the tribal legislature in the early 1990s and served numerous terms as chair, vice chair and secretary.

"The Menominee Nation has lost a extraordinary leader," Chairwoman, Joan Delabreau said in a press release. "We mourn the passing of former Chairwoman Lisa Waukau."

"Chairwoman Waukau was also known as “Nehaeqsnemetaemoh,” which translates to 'A tree standing in the forest.' She was like that tree, strong, inspiring and honorable in her resolve," Delabreau continued. "Her 18 year tenure serving the Menominee people was always bound by her conviction and for the betterment of the tribe. She attended every meeting, voted on every issue, and fought many good battles. "

Waukau's last term on the legislature ended earlier this year. According to her obituary, she stepped down after an unspecified form of cancer returned to her body.

The tribe will fly flags at half-staff for 10 days in Wakau's honor. Visitation takes place on Thursday, with funeral services to follow on Friday.

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