Daycholah Center FAQs

Q: What is wrong or offensive with the name ‘Pilgrim’?’ ‘Why is this such a big deal?` 

A: The history of the Pilgrims, Puritans, idealized Thanksgivings, westward expansion, and the settling of this ‘new country’ were all spoken of positively from a European Colonist perspective.  Considering the native perspective, the original stewards of this land, we might have a better understanding of how a name like “Pilgrim” would be offensive. In some ways, the landing of the Pilgrims and Puritans began the end of their way of life. This change of name and the educational opportunities that it will provide is one small reparative step in building strong, supportive, sustained positive relationships with our indigenous brothers and sisters. 

Q: What is the Doctrine of Discovery?

A: The Doctrine of Discovery is a principle of international law dating from the late 15th century. It has its roots in a papal decree issued by Pope Nicholas V in 1452 that specifically sanctioned and promoted the conquest, colonization, and exploitation of non-Christian territories and peoples. Hundreds of years of decisions and laws continuing right up to our own time can ultimately be traced back to the Doctrine of Discovery—laws that invalidate or ignore the rights, sovereignty, and humanity of indigenous peoples in the United States and around the world.  

For more information: https://www.wcucc.org/justice-ministries/racial-justice/doctrine-of-discovery-study-resources/ 

Q: Should UCCI give the land back to Native Americans?

When the resolution on repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery was debated at the 2019 annual meeting of the Wisconsin Conference, the question of whether the camps would have to be returned to the tribes was explicitly raised.  

We do not believe this should be an obstacle to the discussion. Rather, it presents the opportunity to engage openly in dialog about fundamental understandings about the nature of place, and the notions of ownership and stewardship. 

Q: How will Daycholah Center and its camps and events be different? 

A: There is an opportunity to include elements in Daycholah Center’s physical facilities and programming that encourage an understanding of the history of the original inhabitants of the Green Lake area. Native American approaches to creation care can teach us much about tending to this sacred place. Keeping the shared values of Native Americans and Outdoor Ministry top-of-mind will direct our planning. 

Q: How will Daycholah Center and its camps and events stay the same?  

A: Some event names will change – for example, PilgrimCon will have a new name – but the events you know, and love will still exist and grow. The love, hospitality, and acceptance that Daycholah Center guests experience will not change. 

Q: Will Moon Beach and Cedar Valley have name changes?

A: No name change is being considered for Moon Beach or Cedar Valley. You will notice intentional reverence and acknowledgment for the fact that these sacred places are located on the ancestral homelands of the Menomonie, Ojibwa, and Ho-Chunk Nations. At the beginning of any gatherings, we read the Land Use Acknowledgment. You may also notice Native American flags added to the flagpoles.  

Q: How was this new name selected?

A: With hearts set toward reparation and reconciliation, UCCI engaged in a 3-year process to listen to the Ho-Chunk community and to learn and understand the effects our history has had. This dialogue was led by The Hocak United Church of Christ at the Indian Mission in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, and facilitated by The Alliance for Justice. This collaborative and deliberative journey included a diverse set of stakeholders and has focused on the impact of words and the associations they can bring with them—in this case, including “pilgrim” in Daycholah Center. 

Q: What does “Daycholah” mean?

A: Daycholah is the original Hocak (Ho-Chunk) name for Green Lake. The new name combines the deep spiritual naming of Green Lake by the Ho-Chunk people with the first name of the camp—Green Lake Bible Institute. 

Q: How do you pronounce Daycholah?

A: [ dā-chō-lә ]