I normally use this blog to discuss the paranormal and that is what started this post. I was well aware that many paranormal events have centered and been witnessed near Ho-Chunk burial mounds in Wisconsin, even the ever popular and haunting Dogman (Man Wolf is perhaps more appropriate).
(Ho-Chunk family. Photographer: Charles Van Schaick of Black River Falls, Wisconsin)Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/gallery/photo/ho-chunk-nation-portrait-people-105777#
These mounds have stood for generations, thousands of years, as sacred ceremonial burial sites and now, they are under threat from a greedy CEO and corrupt Republicans in Wisconsin’s legislature in the form of Assembly Bill 620.
Assembly Bill 620 (the text of which can be found here: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2015/related/proposals/ab620) is an insidious piece of legislation looking to be passed by Wisconsin State’s Committee on Environment and Forestry. It is at the heart of the battle that has burned, raging for more than five years over the state’s historical effigy mounds. Authored and supported by a Republican majority, the bill, in short, would allow Dane county mining companies Wingra Redi-Mix, producers of stone and concrete, to destroy sacred effigy mounds in order to get to the aggregate below them.
The law came into being after the Ho-Chunk Nation challenged the companies, essentially blocking them from being able to dig up and destroy the mounds, stating that the mounds are in fact sacred burial sites of their ancestors and must not be disturbed. Co-sponsored by Sen. Chris Kapenga, (R-Delafield) and Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville)– and authored by Rep. Robert Brooks (R-Saukville), Rep. Bob Gannon (R-Slinger), Rep. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha), Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam), Rep. Mary Czaja (R-Irma), Rep. Daniel Knodl (R-Germantown), Rep. Tyler Vorpagel (R-Plymouth) and Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) — the law is as under handed as the mining companies who lobbied for it and the Republicans (not much of a shock there) who supported it.
Speaking of under-handed tactics, in 2015 Wingra Redi-Mix CEO Robert Shea donated $2,400 dollars to the Wisconsin Republican Assembly Campaign Committee. Out of the ten people who co-authored and sponsored this bill, four of the biggest names on it were and are on that committee, including Scott Allen, Mark Born, Robert Brooks, and Mary Czaja. The money trail doesn’t stop there; Wingra has consistently donated to the Committee over the years and many times specifically to individual members of the committee, such as Ed Brooks (district 50) in September 2014.
In fact, from January 2008 until January 2016, Wingra has contributed over $17,000 in construction related donations mostly to the Republicans and the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee. (http://www.wisdc.org/index.php?from=2008-01-01&to=2016-01-08&employer=wingra&interest=Construction&filter=+Search+&module=wisdc.websiteforms&cmd=searchadvanced&qty=100) A few donations went to the Democratic committee but they were the minority.
This smacks of Wingra and specifically Bob Shea buying politicians and committees in exchange for favors later to help his bottom line and stuff the pockets of dirty politicians with a little more of what essentially is historical blood money.
What does the law say in simple terms?
It states that for the effigy mounds to be preserved and not destroyed by the mining companies, that they must be dug up and opened, proving that, in fact, the Ho-Chunk did bury their ancestors there. This act in and of itself would destroy the mounds entirely, rendering the need for preservation moot.
The entire reason why the companies want to dig into these mounds is because they have already exhausted the quarry around them. By digging into the mounds and removing them, an estimated 10-15 million dollars in limestone aggregate would become available, said Wingra president Robert Shea.
Wingra began its operations in 1962. The mounds themselves are a part of the larger Ward mound formations. Sadly, the larger part of the Ward mounds has already been destroyed. The mounds in question did not have any protection until 1986, when a new law gave the Historical Society the authority to catalog and protect sacred sites and in 1990, these mounds were protected as burial locations.
While the Historical Society does agree with Wingra on the fact that it is, for now, unknown scientifically speaking if human remains are below the mounds, the Ho-Chunk Nation to which the mounds belong adamantly state without any doubt that their oral histories and traditions hold that these mounds are sacred burial sites. In fact, patterns established in previous archaeological excavations of similar mounds elsewhere has proven that nearly every mound of the same type does in fact contain human remains, ancient pottery and burial related ritual artifacts.
To the Ho-Chunk, the mounds are precious and belong to their traditions and people, most of which has largely vanished. To me, it would be as if there were a logging company coming into the forest and there was a historical marker protecting a known Civil War graveyard and them saying, “Hey, you know, you don’t have any proof that anyone is actually buried there, so we are going to write a law that would allow us to dig it up and to stop us, you’ll have to destroy your own history!”
Its insanity. It is absurd. It flies in the face of decency and logic and the Ho-Chunk people, like many Native American nations, have suffered enough at the hands of progress. Their people were nearly wiped out entirely in the 17th century and have been struggling since then to return. As of 2015, current estimates about the population of the Ho-Chunk put them at just 12,000 people from two combined tribes. At their lowest point, they were down to below 500.
These mounds are not only burial sites but Spirit in and of themselves, great concentrations in the Ho-Chunk tradition of sacred energies and beings, elemental guardians and guides. Once these mounds are destroyed, they can never be rebuilt and yet another piece of history of our nation of people’s that came generations before the Europeans is lost to time and “progress”, all to line the pockets of men that are richer than God.
To protest, the Ho-Chunk Nation has scheduled a rally to ask elected officials to protect these sites. It will take place on January 12, 2016 on the west side of the Wisconsin State capitol building. There is also a petition started. Information about the protest, which you can join and I highly encourage that you do, is available at the SaveTheMounds website: http://savethemounds.com/ and the petition which can be found at Change.org is here: https://www.change.org/p/wisconsin-state-senate-tell-wisconsin-lawmakers-to-protect-indigenous-effigy-mounds-and-burial-sites?recruiter=452502762&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink
If you can possibly attend the protest, please do so. Otherwise, please sign and add your name to the petition to help save these sacred sites. I, for one, am tired of these companies whose owners are the richest 1 percent of Americans, bossing around the poorest and least enabled, or anyone who they feel like they can bully, just because they have money and want to line their pockets with even more, no matter the cost in human terms.
Enough is enough. Over the last several centuries, we have all but wiped out so many Native American heritage sites, sites that are deeply personal and spiritual to those people who walked these lands, many generations before your family even existed. It’s time to stop it and put an end to this greedy pillaging. Stand up and make it right. Protect these mounds and any other historical and cultural site from profiteering political hijackers and corrupt politicians.