The new hall located across from Goodhue Hall has finally been given a proposed name. Ma’iingan (my-ing-gan), which translates to “wolf” in Ojibwe, was chosen as the proposed name due to the history of the land UW-W rests on today.
Charlie Kudy, the speaker of WSG, acted as the communication liaison between WSG and Residence Life. They wanted a show of confidence from WSG regarding the proposed name.
“[Residence Life] wanted to find a way to honor the land the university is sitting on,” Kudy said. “We have a lot of buildings here that honor the people that have made an impact here, but not a lot recognizing our history and appreciating the land that we’re on.”
Ma’iingan, or “wolf”, was chosen due to its connection to the history of the lands that we walk on today. The wolf is a historical pillar in the Ojibwe tribe.
“[The name] had a really good backstory about forging a way forward as being one of the original animals here with the original man, as well as with religious stories,” he said. “One of the questions people asked was why it wasn’t ‘hawk’, and it just didn’t have that backstory or meaningful story, so that’s why Ma’iingan was chosen.”
Kenny Yarbrough, the Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, helped come up with the proposal for the name alongside many UW-W students and faculty, including housing faculty such as Frank Bartlett and Mary Kaster.
“We acknowledge that [UW-W] exists today on the traditional lands of many native peoples,” Yarbrough said in a statement regarding Whitewater’s native history. “We welcome the duty and opportunity in sharing stewardship of these lands. While the state institution has a rich history, for thousands of years this region and these lands were home to diverse, native peoples. In the knowledge and understanding of this history, we acknowledge that the land on which [UW-W] now exists was, and remains, the historic and traditional territory of many native peoples. We welcome and are honored by the responsibility to be good stewards of these lands and good neighbors to all Wisconsin indigenous peoples.”
Although Ma’iingan is still only the proposed name of the dormitory, residents of the New Hall are excited about its history and meaning to Whitewater.
“I think it’s good that we are representing Native American culture,” said Matthew Richards, a resident of the New Hall. “I grew up in Mukwonago, where itself and many neighboring towns were also named after Native American tribes. Many positives come from respecting those who were here before us.”
The name is still in its proposal stages and will be decided on during the spring semester.