The University of Wisconsin Press

Native American / Archaeology / Memoir / Wisconsin


Buried Indians
Digging Up the Past in a Midwestern Town
Laurie Hovell McMillin

Wisconsin Land and Life
Arnold Alanen, Series Editor

A powerful narrative about the shared past connecting a Midwestern town

In Buried Indians, Laurie Hovell McMillin presents the struggle of her hometown, Trempealeau, Wisconsin, to determine whether platform mounds atop Trempealeau Mountain constitute authentic Indian mounds. This dispute, as McMillin subtly demonstrates, reveals much about the attitude and interaction–past and present–between the white and Indian inhabitants of this Midwestern town.

McMillin's account, rich in detail and sensitive to current political issues of American Indian interactions with the dominant European American culture, locates two opposing views: one that denies a Native American presence outright and one that asserts its long history and ruthless destruction. The highly reflective oral histories McMillin includes turn Buried Indians into an accessible, readable portrait of a uniquely American culture clash and a dramatic narrative grounded in people's genuine perceptions of what the platform mounds mean.

"A very interesting and well-written book about what happens in a small river community when its sense of identity is challenged by its ancient Indian past."—Robert Birmingham, coauthor of Indian Mounds of Wisconsin

"In this evocative book–at once history, investigative journalism, and richly textured memoir–Laurie McMillin renarrates the good stories good people tell themselves about the past and present of their homes."—Philip Deloria, author of Playing Indian

"Laurie McMillin's account of unrecognized racism in a small Wisconsin village is wonderful and insightful yet painful." —Chloris Lowe Jr., former president of the Ho-Chunk Nation

this is a photo of author Laurie Hovell McMillin. She has short hair an appears to be at work in a writing space.Laurie Hovell McMillin is associate professor of rhetoric, composition, and religion at Oberlin College, Ohio. She is the author of English in Tibet, Tibet in English: Self-Presentation in Tibet and the Diaspora.

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the cover of McMillin's book features an old sepia photo of a burial mound and several Indian motifs.

May 2006
264 pp.   6 x 9
19 b/w photos, 6 drawings, 1 map

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Paper $24.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-21684-9
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The cloth edition, ISBN 978-0-299-21680-1, is out of print.

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