St. Paul burial mounds receive federal protection


The Associated Press

The National Park Service has added American Indian burial mounds in St. Paul on the National Register of Historic Places after decades of eligibility.

Six burial sites in Indian Mounds Park were recently added to the register, according to the Star Tribune ( ). The mounds along the Mississippi River are at least 2,000 years old, and they have been eligible for the register since the early 1980s.

"It's really just a recognition of their historic significance, that they are worthy of preservation," said David Mather, who is the National Register archaeologist with the Minnesota Historical Society. The group has long pursued formal approval for the new status, which gives them federal protection.

The six mounds were part of an original group of 18 and are the last remaining in the Twin Cities. Thousands more burial sites near the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers have been destroyed by early settlers. The mounds have been protected by 1976 state law called the Private Cemeteries Act.

Jim Rock, a Dakota Indian who grew up in St. Paul, said he hopes the designation brings new appreciation for what the mounds mean.

"When we see the mounds, we think of death, but we also think of birth," Rock said. He and his wife, Roxanne Gould, often lead other indigenous people from other countries on tours of them.

St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department landscape architect Ellen Stewart said while the new designation is mostly a symbolic step, the listing could improve access to grant money for park improvements.

"We appreciate the fact that we've got this wonderful historic site in one of our parks," Stewart said. "We want to protect them."

Information from: Star Tribune,

Read more People Wires stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category