Heartbeat of Red Cliff Band Arrested in Capitol

January 27, 2012 by Barbara With

Glenn Stoddard, Art “Little Big Man” Sheggone, and drummer Sam Morris outside the capitol.

Glenn Stoddard, Art “Little Big Man” Sheggone, and drummer Sam Morris outside the capitol.

Sam Morris of the Red Cliff Band was arrested for drumming a prayer in the Wisconsin state capitol just after noon today. He was escorted out of the building by Capitol Police officers and was issued a $260 ticket for disorderly conduct. Tribal attorney Glenn Stoddard was nearby and attempted to assist Mr. Morris, but was bodily pushed away by an officer. Art “Little Big Man” Sheggone of the Potawatomi Tribe, and Will Williams, a well known Veterans for Peace Activist were also on hand to offer support to Mr. Morris.

Patty Ann Aiken-Buffalo, descendent of Chief Buffalo, Red Cliff Band, commented on the situation: “We’re crying out for justice… the drum is the heartbeat of our people. What this man was doing was praying … we are not to be dominated anymore. Pray for us first, then stand beside us, and fight with us.”

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4 Comments on “Heartbeat of Red Cliff Band Arrested in Capitol”

  1. Nancy Campbell January 29, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    Just to clarify – This drum is Sam’s personal drum. People are borrowing headlines and making it sound as though this drum belongs to the tribe. It would be as though Sam had gone out there with his own guitar or flute.
    Someone was quoted as saying that “The drum is the heart beat of our people.” That is the way Native Americans see it. However, THIS drum is one of many, and is Sam’s personal drum.
    I am not belittling the symbolic gesture that Sam made here by singing alone and being cited for disorderly conduct.
    I’m not sure Sam would want the mis-quoted statement to give people the wrong idea either. I have spent time with Sam and have taught his daughter. He is sincere and working hard at being a more spiritual person. He has had this drum blessed and it is sacred to him.
    It just does not happen to be the Tribe’s drum.
    Also, another correction: Stoddard is Bad River’s tribal attorney, not Red Cliff’s.

    • Jennifer Pendur January 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

      Clarity is good.

  2. Dennis March 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    If we criticize American Indians, we are called racist. I believe we are all equal in God’s eyes, however, I do not agree with this man’s methods. Vote if you are so displeased; campaign for your candidate; but please, leave our capitol building alone. It once was a shrine but has now become a haven for protesters who disrespect it. You may not agree with my opinion, but that is what is great about this country. My message is that we need to respect each other as well as our state and country.


  1. Bayfield County Board Says NO to Mining | Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative - January 30, 2013

    […] was arrested at the Capitol on January 26, 2012 for playing his drum in the rotunda when mining bill AB426 was pushed through the Assembly […]

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