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Old 05-19-2006, 06:48 PM   #1
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Native American Mounds (the Earthworks) Project

Hi everyone,

I'm doing a group project for one of my college classes on the Native American mounds (the Earthworks) in Newark, Ohio, and my role is to ask Native Americans or Native American descendants outside of Newark what they think of them. Here's what's going on:

The country club (Moundbuilders Country Club) in Newark, Ohio has leased the rights to the Newark Earthworks from the Ohio Historical Society and has turned them into a golf course. Public access to the Earthworks is extremely restricted, and Native Americans are only allowed minimal contact with the mounds. Two
questions:

What do Native American mounds, like the Earthworks, mean to you?

What do you think of the controversy listed above? How do you think it should be handled?

As a Cherokee Native American descendant, I already know my answer to these questions; however, as the researcher, my opinion is not allowed to be included in my findings. If anyone could respond to this ASAP, I would greatly appreciate it. I'm really hoping for some passionate responses. Maybe if enough people voice their opinion, something can be done about this. Thanks!

Miranda (White Tiger)
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Old 05-19-2006, 08:02 PM   #2
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Ok, I'll bite...

Let me answer the first question, mounds are ceremonial and burial complexes, it would roughly be like walking into a sistine chapel/graveyard. Some mound complexes were used for either one purpose or the other, but sometimes, they mixed the ceremonial complexes with small burial mounds outside.

Now when it comes to the country club... a big thanks to the Ohio Hysterical Society for leasing the rights to something they shouldn't have. If these people walking all over a sacred site feel they have the right to play golf in there then I should have the right to go play lacrosse in their graveyards, and turn their church into a driving range while I'm at it... only one problem, raised in the culture I was, I was taught to respect others spirituality, and not do such things. Respect of others and their beliefs should not just be an "indian" thing, it should be a human thing. At least they stopped the horse racing in the pit of the circle mound! I know about the mound situation over there and throughout ohio, leave them be! There are to many "collectors," "pot hunters," and grave good dealers in this state, and all I can say is... they better stop now... they're not as sly as you think they are... and they're being watched.

Paselo
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Old 05-19-2006, 09:39 PM   #3
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Very pissed. One of my favorite memories of my father was when as a kid he took me to some mounds in Ohio. It was one of the first situations in life where I learned about something in our heritage. I was alstruck with the knowledge that they were built and still here after so many years. They should be respected for what they are and left alone. We have enough golf courses in this world anyway. That's one problem we have with our heritage, it involves Mother Earth in some way and people want to build on it.
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Old 05-19-2006, 11:58 PM   #4
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besides... what is golf but a perfectly good walk screwed up by a little white ball anyways... LOL (Hope Notah Begay don't read that... LOL)

Sacred sites are just that... sacred... not commercial ventures
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Old 05-26-2006, 11:53 PM   #5
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My tribe is Miami and we are descended from the Ohio mounds. Nobody asked us. And (as vindicitve as it may sound) I hope the spirits there make sure everyone wandering around on those things are not enjoying their game, having bad dreams and other things. Frankly there are things that it should be illegal to build on or exploit in any way. But the only thing the dominant culture holds in high regard these days is money. No wonder they are so miserable and unhappy.
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Old 05-29-2006, 07:21 PM   #6
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Earthworks Project

To start with not a whole lot can be said. It appears that the dirty deed has aready been done.

For the record:
I feel that the Ohio Historical Society should not have leased the Mounds out because it is not their to lease. I believe they were the caretaker of the site. The American Indians were given limited public access to the sacred Mounds 2 times per year. These Mounds are very old and could be more than a cermonial complex. The Country Club and the Historical Society have jointly disgraced sometime that has high spiritual meaning to the American Indains into the far reaching area out side of Ohio. Ohio should give the Mounds back to the American Indians of that area. If not I think the Country Club and the Ohio Historical Society buildings should be destroyed as they wish to destroy the Mounds. However, as usual the Whites will take what they want and leave whats left to the American Indians until they want it and then they will take it. I don't condon this harsh behavior but some times you have to say enought is enought and that will fall on ears that dont hear the words or meaning of the words of sacred ground. It started with George Washington and it continue to date.
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Old 05-29-2006, 10:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 Trails
To start with not a whole lot can be said. It appears that the dirty deed has aready been done.

For the record:
I feel that the Ohio Historical Society should not have leased the Mounds out because it is not their to lease. I believe they were the caretaker of the site. The American Indians were given limited public access to the sacred Mounds 2 times per year. These Mounds are very old and could be more than a cermonial complex. The Country Club and the Historical Society have jointly disgraced sometime that has high spiritual meaning to the American Indains into the far reaching area out side of Ohio. Ohio should give the Mounds back to the American Indians of that area. If not I think the Country Club and the Ohio Historical Society buildings should be destroyed as they wish to destroy the Mounds. However, as usual the Whites will take what they want and leave whats left to the American Indians until they want it and then they will take it. I don't condon this harsh behavior but some times you have to say enought is enought and that will fall on ears that dont hear the words or meaning of the words of sacred ground. It started with George Washington and it continue to date.
If it hasn't been done, or if it is already done, is there anything we can do? Those mounds are, if my memory is right, also buriel mounds? Those they are more than for ceremonies. Can we protest? I would come up to Ohio if someone got a protest date and help. Like I said, they were one of the first things I saw of our history and traditions. I would gladly help if possible.
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:17 AM   #8
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The golf course has a lease until 2078. It has been located on the Octagon Mounds for some time (as evidenced by this article dated Dec 13, 2002 - http://www.ibsgwatch.imagedjinn.com/learn/2002dec13.htm ). If people are interested in protesting they might consider contacting http://aimsupport.org/ .

Responding personally to the original question -

The appropriation of native sites (burial grounds and those of religious significance) is abhorent; that the dominant culture can "get away with it" is disgusting; that no one else (other than native people) sees anything wrong with it is a travesty.

It's not surprising though, what can one expect from a nation where the football team located in that nation's capital has a name that is listed as a racial perjorative in at least 3 dictionaries?

~b2w
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:22 AM   #9
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Is there anything we can do. Do people really know this is or has happened. I would rather go to some sacred site to have a pow wow than go to Washington DC and have one on the mall. I guess no one cares because this is East of the Missippi. Our sites on this side of the country don't get the news mention as those on the West or Mid-west. Those on the East coast, their voices have been quiet too long. Too much fight about blood percentages to be accepted by those on the other side. We've been mixed for so long that those who know don't care. I've live up in the DC area and it a testement of the way we are here on the East. Sacred lands, good farmlands, all being made into town houses or golf courses. Greed has taken over. By the way, how did Rolling Thunder go, too bad I had to work.
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:06 PM   #10
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Believe me, its not because "nobody cares" I know several people that have protested at Newark and even stood down police in the process. There are a lot of issues with the mounds here and especially burial mound desecration that are being dealt with, I help where I can and support my friends that work against these outcries.
My family stayed here in Ohio to watch over the graves of our ancestors and have sacrificed a lot in the process. And there is a lot being done, but mostly quietly behind the scenes... because think about it, if you really want to make radical change you have to learn to turn the system against itself. Is it right that the octagon is being used as a golf course... NO, and we'll continue to fight against it, but believe me there are bigger issues as well.

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Old 05-30-2006, 06:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickendad
By the way, how did Rolling Thunder go, too bad I had to work.
It was awesome... haven't heard what the final count was but the bikes rolled nonstop from noon until a bit after 3pm.

We took a friend (Desert Storm vet) who had never been. He's a truck driver and just happened to have a layover in DC this past weekend. It was a healing thing for him, the first 20 minutes and the tears started and he was pretty much choked up for the entire 3 hours.

My wife, an author and also a Storm vet, wrote a poem and posted it in war discussions... pretty much sums up the feelings one has.

Sorry you had to work - maybe next year huh?

~b2w
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:45 PM   #12
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How far have we really progressed?

Personally, this angers me very much. It proves that as a people, in our own land, we have much left to do. It is my observation and my opinion that if this were occurring in any foreign country, there would be outrage among the rank and file Americans. There would be celebrities screaming on the TV, because it would be fashionable. But it is here, and it is germaine to the indigenous people of this land, and in the name of commerce, it is allowed. Shame on the Historical Society for being partners in this. I think it's very hypocritical, and makes me wonder if these tea sipping, society folks really have a clue as to what goes on outside of the little world they live in. Ohio isn't unique, these things happen everywhere. And, it is very difficult to stop it.

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Old 06-07-2006, 03:06 PM   #13
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I'm surprised by this, why hasn't the state protected this area? Even here in "backward" Arkansas, the mounds in the center of the state, at Scott, on a oxbow lake of the Arkansas River, are fully protected, it's a state park in fact. Not to say back in the turn of the century that farmers didn't plow up some of the smaller mounds and some of the outer perimeter embankments, but still. Ohio should hang it's head in shame, and a golf course there? Pretty disgusting.
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