University of Wisconsin–Madison

First-year Student Eliza Skenandore Plans to Bring Skills Back to the Oneida Nation

Eliza in her Regalia in front of the Three Sisters Garden before giving a Cultural Tour (2020)

In the Oneida Language, new MA student Eliza Skenandore introduces herself with “She·kú swakwe·kú! Yutyátashnolats okhaleˀ Eliza ní· yúkyats!,” which translates to English as “Hello everyone, my name is Yutyátashnolats and Eliza!”

For over ten years, Eliza worked for the Oneida Nation Museum, a Tribal heritage institution located in northeastern Wisconsin. Initially, she was a Culture Interpreter, and then worked in the archives as the Historical Multimedia Specialist. “I loved being surrounded by our Culture and Language. I really enjoyed helping others learn about who they are and teaching the general public about the Oneida people and our history.” Her work led her to partner with different Tribal Departments, such as the Oneida Community Library, Oneida Arts Program, and Health Division.

Eliza had been thinking about going back to school for a while. She debated between attending the University of Minnesota-Duluth for a Master of Tribal Administration and Governance degree or joining the iSchool. The iSchool won out because Eliza felt she could help her Nation more with the education and skills gained through UW-Madison. “I love that there is a mix of courses that cover Library Studies, Archives, and Museum Studies. It’s perfect for my past—and, hopefully, future—work experiences.”