Ho-Chunk Nation: Giving Back to the Community

Last November, the Discover Wisconsin team released a video series in partnership with Ho-Chunk Nation for National Native American Heritage Month. But, we know that November isn’t the only time to see what the Ho-Chunk members are doing to be upstanding tribal members and good neighbors in their communities! Following along in our blog series, we are going to dive deeper into what Dave Abangan, a volunteer firefighter, does to help out in his community!

Meet Dave Abangan 

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

Since living in Wisconsin, Dave Abangan has been able to learn more about the Ho-Chunk Nation Tribe as well as the history that it holds, now that this community has become a part of his daily life. Dave’s relation to the nation comes through his father and grandmother and for the last 20 years he has dedicated his career to work for the nation. 

Dave’s father set an example for him as a child and that has really steered him towards wanting to give back to the tribe. When Dave’s father retired from his professional career, he spent time getting those in the Chicago suburbs to get in touch with the nation. Dave saw this as such an inspirational thing to do and it really helped him find his true passions as an adult. 

When Dave began working for the nation, he was able to truly pursue a career that he was passionate about. Since about day one, he has been invested in the marketing and business side of the nation. Dave has been able to really love this opportunity in front of him because he is able to meet others from the tribe, learn about his own family members along with others, and make some of his greatest friendships out of it. 

Volunteering in His Community

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

Along with Dave’s successful career, he spends a lot of his time volunteering for the Delton Fire Department. Growing up, Dave’s mother was a part of the fire department community that they lived in. She was an office manager for over 30 years and as a child he knew that if he eventually lived in a smaller community he would definitely take part in being a volunteer firefighter. When Dave puts on his gear he feels ‘as if he can do anything’. With the help of the department, he has been able to learn how to use all of the tools properly and feel comfortable while walking up to just about any circumstance. 

One of Dave’s favorite things about the department and volunteering is the family-like setting that the Delton Fire Department has. He can bring his kids around, they do family meals together with all of the firefighters, and it allows his children to make friendships with the other kids! Along with that, he is appreciative of the opportunity to set a good example for his daughters and hopes that they too can take the steps to being good members of the tribe and the community they live in. 

The Ho-Chunk Nation prides itself on being upstanding tribal members and good neighbors to the communities they are a part of every day. Learn more about Dave Abangan and how he was able to get immersed in the tribe as well as the Delton Fire Department in this segment of the four-part series now: 


Kortnee Hass: Social Media Coordinator for Discover Mediaworks. A Wisconsin ‘now & forever’ transplant with a soft spot for squeaky cheese curds, craft breweries, and all things Wisconsin tourism.

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