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Gov. Evers Joins St. Croix Chippewa Tribe in Unveiling of Dual Language Signs

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers joined members of the St. Croix Chippewa Tribe in Hertel on Thursday, May 25, for a ceremony to unveil new dual-language highway signs.

The new Tribal boundary signs feature the St. Croix Tribal seal next to the Tribe’s name in Ojibwe, “Metaawangaag," which means "sandy beach." It is the traditional name for the reservation.

“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 a press 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.

St. Croix Chippewa Chairman William Reynolds told WCMP that these signs don’t just mark boundaries but help younger members of the tribe to connect to their culture.

"It helps the young guys and young women, in our society, understand where they come from and where they belong," Reynolds said.

These signs also honor the elders who worked to advocate for the tribe.

"They worked so hard on getting the things we needed back in the day. We didn't have a whole lot of money to get to Madison or to (Washington) D.C. to fight for the things that we do. It shows that they did not go unseen or unheard... most people think they are just signs, but it shows our history of where we belong and where we came from."

The dual-language sign initiative began with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in 2021.

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.

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