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December 3, 2020 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Discuss books that have the Great Lakes as setting or subject matter



A monthly book club discussing works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that have the Great Lakes as a setting or as subject matter. This month’s selection is The Bingo Queens of Oneida: How Two Moms Started Tribal Gaming in Wisconsin by Mike Hoeft.


Before Indian casinos sprouted up around the country, a few enterprising tribes got their start in gambling by opening bingo parlors. A group of women on the Oneida Indian Reservation just outside Green Bay, Wisconsin, introduced bingo in 1976 simply to pay a few bills. Bingo not only paid the light bill at the struggling civic center but was soon financing vital health and housing services for tribal elderly and poor. These church-going Oneida women were the unsung catalysts behind bingo’s rising prominence as a sovereignty issue in the Oneida Nation. The Bingo Queens of Oneida tells the story through the eyes of Sandra Ninham and Alma Webster, the Oneida women who had the idea for a bingo operation run by the tribe to benefit the entire tribe. Bingo became the tribe’s first moneymaker on a reservation where about half the population was living in poverty. Author Mike Hoeft traces the historical struggles of the Oneida and details the lives of inspirational tribal members who worked alongside Ninham and Webster. This is the story of how one game not only helped revive the Oneida economy but strengthened the Oneida community.

Please note: we are monitoring the COVID crisis and recommendations from our local public health department. If possible, this discussion will take place in person, masks required, at either the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay or Write On’s center in Juddville. Please watch for updates or call 920.868.1457 for more information.


December 3, 2020
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
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