MENOMINEE INDIAN RESERVATION — Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, along with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), have unveiled new bilingual signs for installation on state highways.
The signs display the tribal borders of the Menominee Nation and other landmarks in both English and the Menominee language, according to a press release from Evers’ office.
“The Menominee Nation, standing by our ancestors, is very pleased with the bilingual signs created for our homelands,” said Ron Corn Sr., Chairman of Menominee. “This is another example of our state recognizing and respecting our country, our sovereignty, our language and our unique cultural identity.
The unveiling of the signs took place Nov. 17 at the Menominee Casino Resort and Convention Center in Keshena and “expands a statewide bilingual signage initiative started by WisDOT in 2021 to work with Wisconsin First Nations people to create street signs in tribal lands to install both English and indigenous languages,” the press release reads.
The Menominee Nation is the third tribe in the state to install bilingual signs, after the Oneida Nation and the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
“I’m proud to stand with Chairman Corn and the Menominee Nation as we not only unveil these new signs, but also celebrate the Menominee culture, heritage and language that endures to this day,” said Evers. “I would like to thank WisDOT and the Menominee Nation for their collaboration on this project. I remain committed to our interstate partnership, respect tribal sovereignty, and celebrate the diversity, history, and cultures that make Wisconsin what it is today.”
The new tribal boundary signs show the seal of the Menominee Nation next to the tribe’s name in the Menominee language “Omāēqnomenēw Eskōnekan”. Pronounced Oh-Mat-Na-Mah-Nay Esco-Nee-cun, Omāēqnomenēw Eskōnekan is the traditional name for the reserve, meaning ‘land destined for the Menominee people’.
This unveiling also occurs during National Native American Heritage Month.
“We are excited to join the Menominee Nation and offer bilingual highway signs on their tribal lands,” said WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson. “Signs always provide a sense of place and let motorists know where they are on their journey. Together we foster a greater sense of place and connect travelers to history by sharing Native American heritage.”
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