Ho-Chunk cultural site visited by high school students

By Paul Rykken

Our First Nations Studies students spent last Wednesday morning hiking at Silver Mound. Silver Mound is 12 miles northwest of Black River and has a fascinating ancient history. The area was a quarry of sorts and archaeologists have been doing field work there for a long time. Ancestors of the native people of our region, as well as native people from many other parts of the country, came to Silver Mound because of the particular rock that was present that was especially good for the various tools needed for their day to day survival. We were able to see the Dwyer Rockshelter and also some of the rock art left by indigenous people. Thanks to Bill Quackenbush of the Ho-Chunk Cultural Preservation Department and Jean Dowiasch of the Mississippi Valley Archaeological Center at UW-LaCrosse for working with our students to bring history alive!

This is our 4th year of offering First Nations Studies at BRFHS.  Our program is affiliated with UW-Green Bay's First Nations Studies Department and students earn dual credit while taking the class.  Thus far, more than 130 students have completed the curriculum which focuses on the history of the Ho-Chunk people and the shared local history of the Black River region.  In addition, all students trace their ancestry to see the native and non-native stories in comparative fashion.  The class is taught by History teacher Paul Rykken, who is an adjunct instructor with UW-Green Bay's First Nations Department.