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Ho-Chunk President Critical Of Allowing Graves To Be Disturbed

GOP Lawmaker Working On A Bill To Allow Excavation Of Part Of Madison Area Burial Mound


Leaders of the Ho-Chunk Nation are stepping up the effort to halt a bill in the state Legislature that the tribe said could harm an effigy mound near Madison.

State Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, wants to force the Wisconsin Historical Society to allow the owners of a limestone quarry in the town of Blooming Grove to excavate three acres to see if human remains are there.

Ho-Chunk Nation President Wilfrid Cleveland said there’s already evidence the site is one of the tribe’s effigy mounds and shouldn’t be disturbed.

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“It’s no different than a burial mound that your people put together,” he said. “You wouldn’t go and desecrate that.”

Cleveland also said the bill would weaken a 1986 state law protecting burial sites and open the door to excavation of other mounds. The company that owns the limestone quarry, Wingra Stone and Redi-Mix, said it wouldn’t disturb a known burial site.

Kapenga’s bill might be introduced next month.