Indian Mounds Regional Park Cultural Landscape Study and Interpretive Plan

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Project Background:

The land we now call Indian Mounds Regional Park, located atop the bluffs of the Mississippi River on the eastern side of downtown Saint Paul, is rich in geological and cultural history and is sacred for the Tribal Communities especially the Dakota people.  

The City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation staff has been working with MIAC to build a partnership with American Indians around the protection, interpretation, stewardship and potential improvements of the site.  A Cultural Landscape study and interpretive plan is an initial step to update the City’s practice for the preservation, awareness and understanding of the significance of this place.  The site is on the National Register of Historic Places and is protected by the Field Archeology Act (MN Statutes 138.40) and Private Cemetery Act (MN Statutes 307.08).

Project Description:

The purpose of this project is to develop a Cultural Landscape Study and Interpretive Plan through an innovative stakeholder involvement strategy. The development of the final product, which will be created with input and partnership of a Project Advisory Team of both local and national parties, will build upon and understanding of the role of physical features and locations within the park, and verbal and written stories gathered from the American Indian Community.  

The foundational Cultural Landscape Study will guide the design of the Interpretive Plan (interpretive elements and activities to demonstrate the significance of this land for American Indians to the wider public).  The Interpretive Plan will guide the future care for and development of this land including prioritization of the interpretive areas and elements, and as facilities requiring preservation and protection.  The stakeholder engagement will serve as a model for future protocol, both formal and informal, for future engagement work within and near sacred and culturally sensitive sites in the City of Saint Paul. 

As a nationally significant site, informing the public and interpreting the multifaceted history of the site is especially important to the understanding of this land as part of a history that has not been appropriately represented. 

The boundaries for the Cultural Landscape Study and Interpretive plan are determined by the Indian Mounds Regional Park boundaries. The narrative will also reference the adjacent bluffs and caves, and the views of the Mississippi River.


Meeting 1:  Monday, May 21, 2018 at Marian Center of Saint Paul, 200 Earl Street, Saint Paul, MN 55106 from 5:30 - 7:00 PM

Meeting 2:  TBD

Meeting 3:  TBD

Project Updates

March 8, 2018:  We would like to invite you to a kickoff meeting on May 21, 2018 at Marian Center of Saint Paul, 200 Earl Street, Saint Paul, MN 55106.  Please join us to discuss the project approach, to set expectations going forward, and to review the proposed trail reconstruction alignment. Both projects will be refined according to a cultural inventory and analysis, and during the public involvement process.


Indian Mounds Master Plan
National Park Services - National Register of Historic Places Program
National Park Services - National Register of Historic Places Registration