Ho-Chunk elder Angeline C. DeCorah, one of the founders of the American Indian Center (AIC) of Chicago walked on August 6. She was 91.
“Angie, as we all knew and loved her, was by every sense of the word an elder in the Chicago Native community and of the Ho-Chunk Nation. She loved to speak her language and share it with anyone she could. Angie was very proud of her culture, heritage and always tried to help other Natives,” Joe Podlasek, AIC executive director and citizen of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe, told Indian Country Today Media Network.
She worked with youth at an AIC after school program to pass down her culture.
“When she spoke, they would just be silent and listen to her,” Nora Moore Lloyd, a friend of DeCorah’s, told the Chicago Sun-Times.
She was born on June 30, 1921, a descendant of Glory of the Morning, the only known female chief of the Ho-Chunk Nation, reported the Sun-Times. She grew up in the Wisconsin Dells area and was one of nine children.
DeCorah attended Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas—now Haskell Indian Nations University—before moving to Chicago in 1942. She worked for A.C. McClurg & Co., a Chicago publisher, as a typist and was also a freelance commercial artist.
She lived in Chicago’s North Side and is survived by three sisters, Delia Maisells, Hazel Shegonee and Virginia Dixon.
“She spent almost every morning at the lake saying prayers for our people and country. I was truly blessed and honored to have had the opportunity to have her in my life,” Podlasek told ICTMN. “Angie just knew when to come and talk to you if you needed support, advice or a good old lecture. She will truly be missed by many.”