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Superior’s Push to get Wisconsin Point on the Register of Historic Places

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SUPERIOR, WI -- Wisconsin Point is best known as a place to enjoy the shore of Lake Superior, but it also has a rich history.

The Point was once home to a burial ground for Indigenous peoples.

In 1918, the Native burial ground was moved from Wisconsin Point to graves along the Nemadji River, making way for an ore dock on Allouez Bay that was never completed.

Superior City Councilor, Jenny Van Sickle, who is Native, says it's a painful past that needs to be recognized.

"We are really taking the first steps forward in widely acknowledging that trauma and trying to take the steps forward through recognizing the real history of Wisconsin Point," said Councilor Van Sickle, Tlingit/Athabascan Sheet’ka Kwaan kiks.àdi, Yéil.

The goal is to get Wisconsin Point added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Wisconsin Point Committee passed the resolution last month, then the Superior City Council unanimously approved it Thursday night.

Council members say it is part of a larger effort to honor Indigenous people in Superior.

Wisconsin Point is still a space that is used today as a place to honor and pay respects to ancestors that were buried there many years ago.

"It's actually become more of a sacred site over the past few years as a national destination, as people come there to do ceremonies for healing and pray quite a bit," says Terry White, a former Douglas County Supervisor and member of the Park Point Committee.

White says the efforts to preserve the Point must include preserving its history.

"I think this is a natural next step of preservation," White said.

The application will now head to the Wisconsin Historic Preservation Review Board. They will make a decision on August 14th.

If that is approved, the National Parks Service will have a final on whether it will make it into the National Register.

Natalie Grant

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