Protection of Dakota Archaeological Sites and Burial Grounds

A goal of the WDUA mission is to work on cultural and service projects designed to bring the Dakota people and the people of Winona together in greater wholeness. In one such project, the Planning Departments of the City of Winona and Winona County asked the WDUA for assistance in creating provisions in their new zoning ordinances that would protect Native American archaeological sites and burial grounds. In response, the WDUA collaborated with Dakota Tribal Historic Presevation Offices, the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota State Archaeologist, the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center and the City and County planning departments for the enactment of specific protections.

The protections enacted by the City of Winona in its new Bluffland Protection Ordinance can be found in this PDF document of  relevant excerpts.   The entire Bluffland Protection Ordinance can be accessed by going to, then clicking on City Code and going to Section 43.81 of Chapter 43 of the City Code.

The protections enacted by Winona County in its new Zoning Ordinance can be found in this PDF document.  The entire Winona County Zoning Ordinance can be viewed in this PDF document.

As a result of enacting these protective provisions, the new City and County ordinance have been used as model ordiances by Dakota Nations in the United States and Canada in negotiations with nearby governmental units.