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Members of the Ho-Chunk Nation react to video of Wausau School Board Candidate

WAUSAU (WAOW) — A video Tricia Zunker called hurtful was brought to her attention by a concerned constituent. Zunker is a member of the Wausau School board and a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation.

In the video sent to her, Wausau School Board Candidate Louis Smith, appears to be dancing around a fire pit while playing a drum. He posted the video to his Facebook in June of 2018.

On Thursday, Zunker re-posted the video to her Facebook. She said the video makes fun of her culture.

“I was angered that people were laughing about that and thinking it was funny,” Zunker said. “We are not a joke.”

News 9 reached out to Louis Smith though phone calls, email, Facebook messenger and even spoke to him outside of his home. He said he did not want to do an interview at the time.

Dylan Prescott, another member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, is a graduate of, and has kids in, the Wausau School District. He was also troubled by the video.

“He should be educated on that, he should have a little bit more respect,” Prescott said.

Both Prescott and Zunker said what they believe is mimicked in the video, are sacred parts of their culture.

“We sing songs in our own language, they’re not made up sounds like we hear in this video,” Zunker said. “The drum that is being imitated here, the drum is very sacred to Native People.”

She said she believes that the video has no place in the community and worries about the message it might send to minority communities.

Sarah McGrew

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