Why are two major Door County’s Native American Historic Sites closed to the public?
My family and I recently had a lovely week camping at Peninsula State Park and had many wonderful experiences during our time. Confused and frustrated, however, was the pompous consideration for the Native American history of the Peninsula State Park Golf Course, which we passed daily.
My third grade kid is passionate about Native American culture and was so excited to see a totem pole in the middle of the golf course. Upon further research, we learned that in addition to the historical monument of this authentic totem pole, there is also a monument to the great Potawatomi chief Kahquados, whose body is buried there.
We read everything we could find on the internet about Chief Kahquados and were amazed to learn the legacy of his courageous life. We also read in Destination Door County tourist magazine (page 27) that visitors could make an appointment with the golf course to see these monuments.
However, this is not the case. We went to the golf course to inquire about it and were strictly advised that only those with tee times can run on the fairway regardless of interest in historical monuments. We were shocked that in this great community the indigenous origins of this beautiful land are not honored and that the final resting place of a great Potawatomi chief who was a courageous advocate of his people is not honored.
This is an example of inaccessible and whitewashed history in one of its finest forms, and I urge the Wisconsin State Park system and the Department of Natural Resources to do better. Perhaps the third graders among us could have some ideas to make these historical monuments more respected, meaningful, and accessible to all. Native American history deserves more than just being relegated to target training for golf balls.