Daniela Jaime – Wisconsin State Journal –
Imagine a Madison where the isthmus between lakes Mendota and Monona is a seeping wetland.
Where cornfields stretch from Wisconsin Avenue to James Madison Park. Herds of deer gather on State Street, and waterfalls pour from Wiicawak Bay (formerly Squaw Bay) into the Yahara River.
Before the first white settlers arrived in Madison in 1837, that imaginary place was real and called “Teejop” (“four lakes”) by the Ho-Chunk people, said Janice Rice, Clan Mother and Peacemaker of the Ho-Chunk Nation.
Dozens of Indian mounds dotted the landscape, from Lake Mendota to Lake Kegonsa, the last in the Yahara chain of lakes. The tallest covered much of today’s Brittingham Park and the residential area known as “The Triangle.”
“Ho-Chunk people consider ourselves the caretakers of the mounds that have survived,” Rice said at a land acknowledgement ceremony earlier this month hosted by First United Methodist Church at 203 Wisconsin Ave.