ONEIDA, Wis. (WFRV) – On Wednesday, the Oneida Nation held a healing and blessing ceremony at the Oneida Casino and Radisson hotel parking lot.
In tribal culture, the ceremony is a responsibility of the Oneida people to take care of the recovery and spiritual needs of their community. “We have been planning for a few days now to gather and do a tobacco burning, as we continue to work through this traumatic event,” said Tehassi Hill, Oneida Nation Chairman. Hill also said the well-being of the people of the community is important and their focus. “We’re making a balanced approach to all our employees and our community as well,” said Hill.
The ceremony was attended by about one hundred people and included a sacred prayer in the native language. Out of respect, that portion of the service was not filmed or recorded. The event highlights the resilience of this tight-knit community, which is still trying to process the deadly shooting that left two employees dead and another injured Saturday night. Those victims have been identified as 32-year-old Ian Simpson and 35-year-old Jacob Bartel. 28-year-old Daniel Mulligan survived the shooting as is currently at a hospital in Milwaukee. The suspected shooter was shot and killed by police. The investigation is ongoing.
At the healing and blessing ceremony, Radisson Hotel manager Steve Ninham told Local 5, he along with management are grateful for all the support they have received. “The events of last Saturday remind us of the great strength of our community,” said Ninham. Seventy-five law enforcement Officers and other emergency personnel responded to the incident, which was called in as an active shooter. “From our courageous staff, to our incredible First Responders, and our generous partners in the business community and all others who continue to assist us, thank you,” said Ninham.
From direct witnesses, to co-workers experiencing grief, experts are preparing those who work at the Convention and Casino complex for a range of emotions brought on by trauma. A change in sleep habits is one of the most typical symptoms, but others can include mood and emotional swings. “Those who look to food for comfort, that may increase. They may also be short-tempered with people. This is all normal reactions to a really tragic situation,” said Emily Lewis of Fox Cities Victim Crisis Response Team. Lewis’ team did not respond to the Radisson shooting, but are offering resources if needed. For more information on the Fox Cities Victim Crisis Response Team, click here.
Another healing and blessing ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, May 8 at 9 a.m. at the Oneida Pow Wow grounds at N 7210 Seminary Rd. Oneida, WI 54155. This event is open to anyone who wants to attend. The will be ongoing debriefings scheduled for employees who might be struggling to process all that has happened.