Protests continue at Racine cemetery

CREATED Oct 5, 2013

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 Members of the Native American community joined other concerned residents at Mound Cemetery in Racine to honor the graves of their ancestors.

They sang sacred songs and banded together in a peaceful rally. They’re upset because Racine City Council approved the sale of this plot of land. It’s land some believe to be an Indian burial mound. 

"What this group is doing,” explains Racine Mayor John Dickert. “They are stopping a family from putting one of their family members to rest."

William Brown says this is a sacred place. His ancestors are buried throughout the cemetery. He says these Indian burial mounds are the tombstones.

“The people that were here before us were the ones who made the way for us,” explains Brown. “So we want to protect and show respect to them."

The Meredith family is paying for testing. A geologist was hired to sample, but backed out when protesters showed up.

“One of the main concerns yesterday were the samples they were taking,” explains Brown. “That's disturbing the area to begin with. It's very invasive and destructive.”

The mayor states if it's not an Indian burial site, profits from the sale would help the cemetery get out of debt.  Brown sees the site differently.

“We'd like a non-profit to assume control and protect the site itself," notes Brown.

 The local family promises to not move forward if experts declare it a historic site.