Leaders and members of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin brought bus loads of the Indian Nations of Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota to the Wisconsin State Capitol this spring where they stood in unity for burial sites legislation. They did a ceremony in front of the building and then entered and spoke to legislators and staff to urge defeat of AB 620, which would have weakened burial sites protection for Indian and Pioneer Burial Sites in Wisconsin. No action was taken on the bill, but a special legislative study committee has been created.
The Study Committee is directed to “review s. 157.70, Stats., to determine whether the statute adequately balances the interests of scientists, landowners, developers and others with an interest in a burial site, including those with a kinship interest and those with a general cultural, tribal or religious affiliation with the burial site. The Study Committee shall consider whether modifications to these procedures are necessary to protect all interests related to any human burial site encountered during archaeological excavation, metallic or nonmetallic mining, construction, agricultural activities, environmental impact assessments or other ground-disturbing activities, without causing avoidable or undue delay or hardship to any person who has an interest in using the land on which the burial site is located.”
Committee members are: Representative Loudenbeck (Chair), Representative R. Brooks (Vice-Chair), Representative Considine, Senator Erpenbach, Conrad Goodkind, William Green Ph.D., David J. Grignon, Dr. Kira E. Kaufmann, Justin Oeth, E. Glen Porter III, Bill Quackenbush, Robert Shea, Chad Wuebben.
The committee will meet on August 2, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 411 South, State Capitol.