Bill would protect Wisconsin Indian burial mounds

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A bill moving through the Wisconsin Legislature would more clearly define protections for Indian burial mounds.

The bill would specify when the Wisconsin Historical Society can protect a burial site and how a landowner can challenge the protections. The bill also proposes increasing the setback from burial locations from 5 feet to 10 feet.

The bill was prompted by another proposal two years ago that would have made it easier for landowners to excavate and potentially develop Indian mounds.

The Ho-Chunk Nation's Jon Greendeer says the original bill made tribal leaders realize that many lawmakers didn't know how sacred the mounds are. He says a lack of education and reluctance among Native Americans to talk about death has contributed to the lack of awareness.

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