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Righting a wrong: Superior City Council votes to return land to Native Band

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burial ground

SUPERIOR, WI-- The Superior City Council voted to right an historic wrong during its meeting Tuesday night.

The councilors voted to return Native burial sites on Wisconsin Point to the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

In 1918, the U-S Steel Company exhumed almost 200 Ojibwe graves to make room for a new dock.

They moved the bodies to 29 plots next to a cemetery on the northern bank of the Nemadji River.

Tuesday night's vote is the first step in transferring the land back to the people who originally called it home.

"It's important that these burial grounds are under the care, the management, and the oversight of the Ojibwe people. It's their relatives and they can best make those decisions," said Jenny Van Sickle, the Superior City Counselor who proposed the land transfer.

The plan still has a ways to go, including state and federal approval.

If it goes through, the land containing the mass grave would transfer into federal trust and the burial ground on Wisconsin Point would transfer to the Fond du Lac Band, which would have stewardship of both.

Bonney Bowman

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