Bill Text: IL SR0429 | 2019-2020 | 101st General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Urges the creation of the Cahokia Mounds Mississippian Cultural National Historical Park.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-0)

Status: (Passed) 2019-05-31 - Resolution Adopted [SR0429 Detail]

Download: Illinois-2019-SR0429-Introduced.html

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2 WHEREAS, Long before Lewis and Clark, the Cahokia Mounds
3region was home to the ancient societies of Mississippian
4Culture and the beginnings of urbanism in the eastern
5woodlands; it was from these societies that today's great
6Indian Nations sprang, with cultural connections from the Great
7Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and along the mighty Mississippi;
8the beginning of this urban civilization was spread over six
9counties of eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois; and
10 WHEREAS, At the sea of verdure, the fertile American Bottom
11stretches bluff to bluff at the confluence of America's
12greatest rivers, the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, cradling
13the birth of millennia of agriculture and the rise of the
14Mississippian Culture; Cahokia Mounds and its mound complexes
15thrived on the cultivation and trading of corn, with their
16surplus allowing them to rise and become the "Center of the
17Universe" of the Mississippian Culture, trading to the north,
18south, east, and west; and
19 WHEREAS, Dating from the Mississippian Period (800-1350
20AD), Cahokia Mounds, covering 3,950 acres, is the earliest and
21largest pre-Columbian archaeological site north of Mexico and
22the pre-eminent example of a cultural, religious, and economic
23center of the pre-historic Mississippian cultural tradition;

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2 WHEREAS, Cahokia Mounds and its ancient non-contiguous
3satellite settlements are today in need of additional
4protection to secure the most significant remnants of the
5largest Native American civilization on the North American
6continent north of Mexico from active and passive threats; and
7 WHEREAS, Over the last 24 months, with guidance from the
8Indian Nations, federal agencies, Illinois and Missouri state
9agencies, and local units of government, Heartlands
10Conservancy developed a thorough, compelling, and rigorous
11study that met National Park Service standards and criteria
12demonstrating the feasibility of elevating the status and
13national designation of Cahokia Mounds; the surrounding mound
14complexes in the region and their significance, suitability,
15and feasibility as a potential formal unit of the National Park
16Service would ensure that these precious ancient
17archaeological resources are protected and accessible for all
18people to experience; and
19 WHEREAS, Conducting 13 public meetings, media interviews,
20stakeholder meetings, outreach to 13 tribes/nations, and over
21890 surveys, Heartlands Conservancy received support for the
22study's recommendations and showed that local communities
23would benefit from revitalized and protected sites with

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1enhanced interpretive and educational programs to teach about
2the Mississippian Culture, its ancestral significance, and the
3numerous associated historic traces and cultural themes; and
4 WHEREAS, The study captured the significance of the region
5and its ancient history by demonstrating that, through
6cooperative protection and partnerships, it can remain
7connected and intact in order to properly interpret remaining
8sites and offer opportunities to protect, enhance, and
9interpret the natural environment along the Mounds Heritage
10Trail corridor; and
11 WHEREAS, National parks generate $31 billion for local
12economies each year and are shown to invigorate neighborhood
13historic renovation and spur business growth; they also provide
14opportunities for tourism and economic development, natural
15resource conservation, and improvements of the quality of life
16for residents of nearby communities; and
17 WHEREAS, There are no other mounds within the National Park
18Service that represent the Mississippian Culture as
19holistically and uniquely as the Cahokia Mounds; combined with
20the surrounding satellite mound centers, Cahokia emerges as the
21most significant and unsurpassed example of its time period;

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1 WHEREAS, The great region of southwestern Illinois and
2eastern Missouri will, with the assistance of the Indian
3Nations, become a center of cultural outreach and enrichment by
4embracing our nation's earliest heritage and re-engaging our
5ancient past as a foundation for the 21st century; and
6 WHEREAS, Legislation will be introduced in the U.S.
7Congress to create the Cahokia Mississippian Culture National
8Historical Park in Southwestern Illinois, which, with
9thematically-connected, non-contiguous mound complexes in the
10St. Louis Metropolitan Region, will recognize the significance
11of the Mississippian Culture and its unique national
12significance in agriculture, ancestral ties, and its status as
13one of America's first cities; and
14 WHEREAS, There is a strong consensus that now is the time
15for immediate action to further develop the Cahokia Mounds and
16thematically-connected mound complexes to realize their full
17potential; with new transportation access across the
18Mississippi River completed and the rebound of the economy,
19there is even greater pressure to develop this area; therefore,
20be it
22ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we urge the citizens of
23the Cahokia Mounds region to actively join the Heartlands

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1Conservancy, the Governor of Illinois, and the Illinois
2Department of Natural Resources in support of the Cahokia
3Mounds Mississippian Culture Initiative; and be it further
4 RESOLVED, That we urge the U.S. Congress to elevate the
5national status of the Cahokia Mounds and
6thematically-connected mound complexes that are deemed
7suitable and nationally-significant as a non-contiguous
8National Historical Park, the Cahokia Mounds Mississippian
9Cultural National Historical Park; and be it further
10 RESOLVED, That we call upon the President of the United
11States to exercise his authority by Executive Order through the
12Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate the Cahokia Mounds as a
13National Monument, and we call upon Congress to pass
14legislation creating the Cahokia Mounds Mississippian Cultural
15National Historical Park in partnership with the State of
16Illinois; and be it further
17 RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
18delivered to the Governor of Illinois, the Illinois General
19Assembly, the members of the Illinois Congressional
20Delegation, the National Park Service Director, the Secretary
21of the Interior, and President Donald Trump.