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Memorial Marker to Acknowledge Indigenous People Buried at UWSP

UW-Stevens Point (UWSP) is taking another step to recognize that it occupies the ancestral lands of the Ho-Chunk and Menominee people.

A memorial marker will be placed on the UWSP campus to acknowledge the indigenous people buried there.

According to a press release from UWSP, recent historical research shows the campus encompasses what was a Native American camp and burial ground of the Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Ojibwe and Potawatomi.

In the 1860's, Scarlet Fever devastated the diverse group, and the mass burial is located on what is now UWSP.

The memorial marker will be installed during a ceremony at noon on Thursday, December 17, and is one step in acknowledgement, according to UWSP Chancellor Bernie Patterson. It will be in place while an appropriate permanent memorial is created.

“While these efforts are ongoing, the temporary marker will remain in place to respect the site and educate our communities of our shared history,” Patterson said. “The university is committed to establishing a permanent memorial that honors the Native American ancestors in a respectful and collaborative manner.”

Karen Ann Hoffman of the Oneida Nation who lives in Stevens Point, and archeologist Ray Reser, retired from UW-Stevens Point, are leaders of efforts to honor those in the mass burial site.

"UW-Stevens Point is proud of a rich history with the Native community, having established one of the first Native American Centers in the UW System," said Al Thompson, vice chancellor for Student Affairs. “We look to strengthen our relationships with the 12 Native Nations in Wisconsin and create additional opportunities for our Native students to attend and succeed at UW-Stevens Point.”