Dual-language highway signs unveiled Thursday at the St. Croix Tribal Center

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 10:51 AM CDT
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WEBSTER, Wis. (WEAU) - Governor Tony Evers, together with the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, on Thursday unveiled new dual-language signs for placement on state highways, according to a media release from the Office of Governor Tony Evers.

The media release from the Office of Governor Evers states, “The new signs indicate the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin’s Tribal boundaries and communities in both the Ojibwe and English languages.”

“Reversing the decline of our Ojibwe language has become one of Tribal Leadership’s most desired goals. The Tribe has been working diligently to revitalize our language through educational efforts, cultural ceremonies, historic preservation, and work assignments,” St. Croix Chairman William Reynolds said in the media release. “In the prioritization of dual language signage, we demonstrate our desire to both speak and understand Ojibwe and the pride we have in our language. It is our hope the dual-language signs will also encourage non-tribal people living near or passing through our communities to have a better and kinder understanding of who we are as traditional Anishinaabe people.”

“I am proud to stand with Chairman Reynolds and the St. Croix Tribe as we unveil these signs and celebrate the culture, heritage, and language of Ojibwe people,” Gov. Evers said in the media release. “I am grateful for the work between the Department of Transportation and the St. Croix Tribe to bring these dual-language signs to life. Together, we are fostering a stronger sense of connection, informing visitors of our shared history, and celebrating Tribal heritage.”

The media release says the sign unveiling took place Thursday at the St. Croix Tribal Center in Webster and “expands on a statewide dual-language sign initiative launched by WisDOT in 2021 to collaborate with Native Nations in Wisconsin to install road signs on Tribal lands in both English and Indigenous languages.”

The media release goes on to state, “The St. Croix Tribe is the fifth Tribe in Wisconsin to install dual-language signs, along with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Oneida Nation, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and the Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.”

Additional information is available in the full media release from the Office of Governor Evers, HERE.