Ho-Chunk Nation Cultural Resource Protocol

The Village of Waunakee is on land that is home to important Ho-Chunk Nation cultural resources and TCPs. The management plan below was generalized for all green spaces in the Village of Waunakee and will help prevent destruction of such important sites. This is a suggested plan created by the UW Students during the UniverCity Alliance Partnership. 

Enhancement of Native Wildlife Populations

A significant aspect to cultural resource management is native species preservation. With likely over 150 native species, the Ho-Chunk People have been very resourceful with what the natural environment provides. Native plants are used for medicinal and ceremonial purposes, as well as for sustenance. The use of native plants in the Ho-Chunk culture began at the start of their nation’s existence, and continues to hold cultural significance today.

Currently the Waunakee Department of Natural Resources is working on prairie restoration, including butterfly, bird, and bat habitat revitalization. There are several staff members with advanced training in forestry that receive ongoing training in grounds maintenance. Further research into native plant restoration would be a significant step forward in cultural responsiveness for the Village of Waunakee’s parks department in relation to Ho-Chunk Nation cultural resource preservation. Prioritizing the Ho-Chunk language during native species restoration through collaboration with the Ho-Chunk Language Division is encouraged.

*A detailed list of Ho-Chunk ethnobotany can be found on pages 9-19 of “Huron Smith’s Ethnobotany of the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago),” a collaboration between University of Kansas’ Native Medicinal Plant Research Program and the Culture and Language Program of the Ho-Chunk Nation.

Protection of Traditional Cultural Properties 
and Archaeological Sites

Acknowledgement of Traditional Cultural Properties in Waunakee

The Village of Waunakee has been given a great opportunity to work alongside the Ho-Chunk Nation in their efforts to preserve their culture and identity. The acknowledgment of Traditional Cultural Properties and their significance to the Ho-Chunk Nation is crucial to these efforts. While community education and awareness is also important, generalized locations and information about traditional cultural properties should be delegated by members of the Ho-Chunk Nation who value privacy and protection over sacred sites and resources. General Considerations that the Village can take to protect these TCP's include:

  • No signage or large construction within the sound and viewscapes (source: Ho-Chunk DHP)
  • Use natural predictors for rodent issues (source: Ho-Chunk DHP)
  • Use language that centers indigenous voices, terminology, and worldviews of Ho Chunk Nation.

Grounds and Trail Maintenance


Prescribed burns were historically used by Ho-Chunk People across the oak savanna ecosystem to clear overgrown areas and protect medicinal plants. Today, the Ho-Chunk Department of Natural Resources continues to use them as a habitat restoration method for both prairie and savanna ecosystems. Plants within these ecosystems are native to the area, and have adapted to survive controlled burns. Thus, these burns support new growth for native plant species, while simultaneously burning off invasive species that have yet to adapt.

  • Reduces the woody plants
  • Lowers the pH
  • Promotes growth of protective grasses
  • Low costs
  • Not always possible due to fire hazards or low fuel load


Recommended Mowing Practices that will result in higher grass on mounds, discourage pedestrian traffic and provide a protective cover :

  • Hand mow at a high setting to minimize ground disturbance
  • Mow around the mounds regularly and push mow mounds only in early spring to promote grasses and to remove emergent seedlings.

“Burial Mound Preservation and Maintenance.” Ho-Chunk Department of Heritage Preservation. 2007. Retrieved April 15th, 2021.
Spella, G., Krueger N., and Hines, Z. “Culture and Conservation: Living Ho-Chunk History in Monona Parks.” Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. 2017. Retrieved April 19th, 2021.
Kindscher, K. and Hurlburt, D. “Huron Smith’s Ethnobotany of the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago).” Economic Botany 52(4) pp. 352-372. 1998. Retrieved April 19th, 2021.