They say that a lake keeps its secrets.  But sometimes - every now and then - it lets one of them out.

Divers in Lake Mendota in southern Wisconsin pulled up the remains of a dugout canoe that is estimated to have sunk to the bottom of the water around 3,000 year ago.  The canoe was brought to the surface on September 21 under a coordinated effort of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Wisconsin State Historical Society, and members of the Ho-Chunk Nation.

The canoe is believed to belong to the Ho-Chunk Nation, based on where it was discovered - on the bottom of the southern part of Lake Mendota, where UW-Madison exists today, but is part of the ancestral Ho-Chunk land "known as Teejoo in the Ho-Chunk language".

Divers and historians believe that this particular dugout canoe is "more than twice as old as another Ho-Chunk canoe [that was] recovered from Lake Mendota last year".

According to details shared by the University of Wisconsin-Madison - both in news articles and on their Facebook page, an impressive amount of representatives of stakeholders were present:

"Those present included Marlon WhiteEagle, President of the Ho-Chunk Nation; Karena Thundercloud, Vice President of the Ho-Chunk Nation; and Omar Poler, the Indigenous Education Coordinator in the Office of the Provost."

A crowd of interested onlookers were also in attendance to witness the dugout canoe seeing the surface of the water - and air - for the first time in 3,000 years.

After the canoe was lifted to the surface by the divers, it was transported by raft across Lake Mendota to Spring Harbor Beach, where it was loaded for further transport.

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