The Ohio River Water Walk is the third Nibi walk

This Memorial Day, Honor the Water, Remember the Fallen, and Protect the Mounds

Mary Annette Pember

Unfortunately, however, modern farming, graveling and urban sprawl continue to take a toll on sacred sites, according to the Ancient Trail of Ohio website. Following are three examples in a long list of ongoing battles between developers and preservationists over protecting sacred sites.

Wal-Mart has a history of destroying sacred sites. They have built or attempted to build stores on burial mounds in Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, California, and Hawaii. In 2004, Wal-Mart opened a store in Mexico City within view of the 2000-year-old pyramids of Teotihuacan despite protests by local residents.

The owner of Wingra Redi-Mix in Wisconsin wants to destroy a bird effigy mound on his property in order to get at $1 million worth of gravel buried beneath. The mound, part of the Ward Mounds, have been called the “Heart of the homelands of the Ho-Chunk Nation.” Effigy mounds in Wisconsin were built as long ago as 700 BC.

The Wingra Redi-Mix Quarry has been bulldozed as close to the bird effigy mound as possible. Wingra Redi-Mix seeks to destroy the mound to reap the copy0 million of sand and gravel. The mounds on the property are protected by a burial site protection act. (

Recently preservationists narrowly succeeded in saving the most important surviving Adena earthworks in the Ohio Valley from developers.

A magnetic survey done in 2005 revealed the Junction Group below the surface.

Sharon Day is pondering the significance of finishing her 981-mile journey along the Ohio River near Wickliffe Mounds. Seeing the destruction of the water, earth and sacred sites along the way brings home a message from a long ago Shawnee leader, Tecumseh, who called on people to unite and take action to protect the earth.

“….soon the trees will be cut down to fence in the land. Soon their broad roads will pass over the graves of your fathers and, the place of their rest will be blotted out forever. The annihilation of our race is at hand unless we unite in common cause.”


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