Sokaogan Chippewa Tribe Thinks Remains Could be of Indian Princess

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

A forensic anthropologist is looking for more information after human remains were found four miles west of Antigo Monday.

But some Mole Lake residents have a good idea of who the bones may have belonged to.

Members of the Sokaogan Chippewa tribe believe the remains are directly related to their people.

Fred Ackley Jr. is the great great grandson of Willard Ackley, Langlade County's first white settler, and the native Chippewa princess Me-Da-Gee-Wa-No-Kwa.

The Mole Lake resident believes the grave could have been of his great great grandmother, which he says has never been located. She died in 1899.

His people lived along the Eau Claire River, for thousands of years.

And the original Ackleys lived right where the remains were found, near Riverview Golf Course, which used to be an Indian trading post.

From stories passed on among generations, Ackley believes his people are buried there.

"I know that's my family, anybody buried there is part of my band or my tribe," Ackley said.

The land to his family is sacred, but he understands the reality of the modern world.

"That's why we signed a treaty I believe, so we could step aside for your people to settle and live here from now on... so we have to live with the disturbing of our areas and sites," he said.

Ackley says he'd like to get a group of Chippewas to say a prayer on the site, and after they're examined, have the remains buried in the Antigo cemetery with others.

One of the remains given up for examination, included a medallion, which Ackley says was a common item buried with his people.

The bones are being DNA tested, to determine gender and ethnicity.

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