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On Hiawatha statue: “Removal is not off the table,” said Human Rights Commission chair.



The La Crosse city council could get a recommendation on the future of the Hiawatha statue within the next couple of months.

Recent public discussions have brought new life to the recurring argument over whether the large Native American-looking statue at Riverside Park is so offensive that it should be removed.

La Crosse’s Human Rights Commission is working to write a resolution for the council.

“Nothing is too solidified in terms of, ‘What’s the ask?’ and various things like that, but definitely, removal is not off the table,” Shaundel Spivey, who chairs the commission, said.

Spivey added that he would like to see a “healthy dialogue” about the statue without the anger of past discussions, which have included death threats.

Spivey believes recent public forums at the Ho-Chunk office in La Crosse have also been useful.

“There was a lot of information about the history of the statue … but then also perception and different things of that sort, too,” he said.

The commission co-sponsored one such forum in December.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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