BOST INTRODUCES BILL TO MAKE CAHOKIA MOUNDS A NATIONAL PARK
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Bost today introduced bipartisan legislation to establish national park status for Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. The Cahokia Mounds and Mississippian Culture National Historic Park would include mounds in Madison, St. Clair, and Monroe counties, as well as Sugarloaf Mound in St. Louis. The park would be jointly managed between the park service and local stakeholders.
“Cahokia Mounds is a significant archaeological treasure,” said Bost. “Southern Illinois was once home to one of the largest civilizations in what is now the United States, and Cahokia was the center of this ancient civilization. Making Cahokia Mounds and associated mounds sites in the region part of our national park system will help elevate this resource in our nation’s consciousness and deepen our understanding of the peoples and cultures of our past. I appreciate the dedication of HeartLands Conservancy and all of the state and local leaders who helped make this effort a reality.”
“The Mississippian Culture, with Cahokia Mounds as its hub, was once the largest urban center in North America. Many Native American nations and tribes have origins in the Mississippian culture, and their stories and heritage must not be forgotten,” said Mary Vandevord, President and CEO for HeartLands Conservancy. “Thanks to the leadership and tremendous political support of Congressman Bost, along with Congressmen Clay, Davis, and Shimkus and Senator Durbin, the State of Illinois, and the efforts of Native American tribes and nations, archaeologists, communities, and partner agencies and organizations across the country, we are one step closer to elevating and preserving Cahokia Mounds and other mound groups of the Mississippian Culture for people to experience now and for generations to come through this bistate national historical park.”
One thousand years ago, Cahokia, “America’s First City,” was built by the Mississippians in Southern Illinois. The region was home to 10,000-20,000 people at its peak around 1200 A.D. Today, the Cahokia Mounds is a 2,200 acre state historic site made up of more than 70 mounds. Cahokia Mounds is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a National Historic Landmark, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Currently, the site is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. In 2018, the department announced support for national park status, and in May of 2019, the Illinois House of Representatives backed a resolution supporting this status as well.