University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Press Release

UWM researchers participate tonight in educational vigil for Wisconsin burial mounds

The vigil will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at a prehistoric burial mound in Lake Park near the UW-Milwaukee campus.

By - Jan 12th, 2016 07:41 am

MILWAUKEE _ University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers will participate in a vigil on Tuesday, Jan. 12, to help educate the public about Native American burial and effigy mounds in Wisconsin.

The vigil will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at a prehistoric burial mound in Lake Park near the UW-Milwaukee campus.

Burial and effigy mounds are critical to understanding the cultures that built them. Some are gargantuan maps, while others, like the Mayan pyramids, are calendar and astronomical devices.

Wisconsin has 90 percent of the effigy mounds in the world. They the only earthen forms constructed by prehistoric American Indians. The Ho-Chunk people are believed to be descendants of the Mound Builder people, and the tribe views the mounds as sacred sites that should not be disturbed.

However, legislation has been proposed in Wisconsin to allow these sacred Native American mounds sites to be excavated if they lie in the path of another project.

Members of the public are invited to join indigenous people and their allies from the greater Milwaukee community at the vigil, including representatives from UWM’s American Indian Studies faculty, the Electa Quinney Institute of American Indian Education, and the Overpass Light Brigade. Those participating in the vigil should dress warmly.

Planned timeline:

  • 4:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Gathering begins as the sun is setting. Brief talks and readings about what the mounds are and their cultural and historical significance from AIS faculty members.
  • 4:50 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. as darkness falls, LED tea lights will be places around and on the mound followed by a couple of messages from the Overpass Light Brigade.

Location of Prehistoric Burial Mound in Lake Park: https://foursquare.com/v/prehistoric-burial-mound/4e5136f2483bb7704927f88e
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1524866787807310/1525160381111284/
American Indian Studies: http://ais.uwm.edu
Electa Quinney Institute: http://www.uwm.edu/eqi
Overpass Light Brigade: http://overpasslightbrigade.org

About UWM

As Wisconsin’s only public urban research university, UWM has established an international reputation for excellence in research, community engagement, teaching and entrepreneurism. On an operating budget of $667 million, UWM educates more than  27,000 students and is an engine for innovation in southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UWM a 2016 Best Midwestern university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews. Its economic impact is more than $1.5 billion per year in Wisconsin alone.

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