What does “Dejope” mean?
Dejope is the name given to the Madison area by its original inhabitants, the Ho-Chunk people. The word itself means “Four Lakes” in the Ho-Chunk language, an homage to the four lakes — Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa — around which indigenous tribes lived for nearly 12,000 years before the arrival of white settlers. Dejope is also the name of UW–Madison’s youngest residence hall, which was built in 2012. The hall pays tribute to its name with a dining hall aptly named Four Lakes Market, which features an authentic canoe crafted by Wayne “Mino-Giizhig” Valliere, an Ojibwe teacher, artist, and community leader of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. The hall also features a fire circle that overlooks Lake Mendota and has been used by indigenous student groups on campus to hold traditional ceremonies. So, even though the dorm-dwellers may be the only ones writing “Dejope” in their address, everyone who has lived on the UW campus or in the Madison area has been a resident of Dejope, dating all the way back to the people who named it