Skip to main content

Grand Mound Historic Site will stay closed to the public, except for Native Americans

It follows a request made by descendants of Native Americans buried there.

A sacred burial ground in northern Minnesota will remain closed to the public at the request of descendants of the Native Americans buried there.

The Grand Mound Historic Site, on the northern Minnesota border with Canada, has been owned by the Minnesota Historical Society since 1970, but the site and its visitor center closed to the public in 2002 because of budget cuts.

Over the past 16 years, MNHS has preserved and secured the site as it tried to figure out what would happen with it going forward, and four years ago started engaging with local community leaders from International Falls, Koochiching County and Native American tribes.

This ultimately led to the decision announced on Friday that the site would remain closed to the general public, but limited access would be granted to Native Americans, to be used for ceremonial and educational purposes.

"This site is first and foremost a burial ground with thousands of human remains still interred there," said Joe Horse Capture, director of Native American Initiatives at MNHS, in a news release.

"This decision honors Native ancestors and ensures respect for Native American culture and history."

Subscribe: Sign up for our daily newsletters

"Grand Mound is part of an interconnected line of burial mounds that runs for 90 miles along the Canadian and U.S. sides of the Rainy River," added Kent Whitworth, MNHS director and CEO. 

"The historical importance of this site cannot be understated, but we must protect it and provide education while also ensuring that Native people can care for the place where their ancestors lie."

Next Up

KwonFloodFOX9

FOX 9 promotes Hannah Flood to anchor, adds new reporter

Hannah Flood will co-anchor mornings while Se Kwon joins the team.

Carjacking pursuit in Little Canada

Watch: Suspects drive wrong-way on I-35E, before carjacking separate vehicles

The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said the suspects are still at large.

RestaurantFireSTP

St. Paul restaurant damaged in Sunday night fire

The fire department said the fire is considered to be "accidental."

Lake Superior.

MPCA: Minnesota's emissions fell by 23% between 2005 and 2020

Clean energy investments have driven the decline.

Dave Durenberger

Former U.S. Senator for Minnesota Dave Durenberger dies at 88

Durenberger served two terms before his disgraceful exit in the mid-1990s.

Screen Shot 2023-01-31 at 10.17.33 AM

Two new breweries join Minneapolis, St. Paul downtowns

There are new spots in North Loop and Lowertown.

driver's license

'Driver's Licenses For All' bill passes Minnesota House, heads to Senate

It would allow Minnesotans to obtain it without needing proof of legal presence in the U.S.

LawlessCocktailRoomIGLawless

Lawless Distilling in south Minneapolis abruptly closes its doors

The company stated "the wear and tear of the pandemic has taken its toll."

Related

Historic Fort Snelling

Minnesota Historical Society keeps its funding after Fort Snelling row

The society had been threatened with funding cuts after changing the Fort Snelling sign.

Screen Shot 2019-08-21 at 12.36.25 PM

MNHS to consider a new name for Historic Fort Snelling

Any final decision would be up to the state legislature.

minnetonka moccasin

Minnetonka Moccasin apologizes for appropriating Native American culture

The company has laid out a plan to do better and support Native American communities.

Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 9.58.42 AM

The murder at Glensheen that you've never heard of

Decades before the famous mansion was built, blood was spilled on its grounds.

Screen Shot 2019-07-12 at 10.40.14 AM

A new mystery at Glensheen, as diving bell is recovered beneath boathouse

It's the first time it's been fully viewable by the public.