MENOMINEE INDIAN RESERVATION -- Gov. Tony Evers, together with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), [yesterday] unveiled new dual-language signs for placement on state highways. The new signs indicate the Menominee Nation’s Tribal boundaries and other landmarks in both English and the Menominee Language.
“The Menominee Nation, standing alongside our ancestors, are very pleased with the dual-language signs created for our homelands,” Menominee Chairman Ron Corn Sr. said. “This is another example of how our state recognizes and respects our lands, sovereignty, language, and unique cultural identity. Maec Waewaenen [Great Thanks] to Governor Evers and the Department of Transportation for their continued support.”
“I am proud to stand with Chairman Corn and the Menominee Nation as we not only unveil these new signs but celebrate the culture, heritage, and language of the Menominee people that perseveres still today,” said Gov. Evers. “I want to thank WisDOT and the Menominee Nation for their collaboration on this project. I remain committed to our intergovernmental partnership, respecting Tribal Sovereignty, and celebrating the diversity, history, and cultures that make Wisconsin what it is today.”
The sign unveiling took place earlier today at the Menominee Casino Resort and Convention Center in Keshena 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 Menominee Nation is the third Tribe in the state to install dual-language signs, following the Oneida Nation and the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
“We are excited to join the Menominee Nation and offer dual-language highway signs on their Tribal lands,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “Signs always provide a sense of place and inform motorists where they are on their journey. Together we are fostering a stronger sense of place and connecting travelers to history by sharing Native American heritage.”
The new Tribal boundary signs feature the Menominee Nation seal 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 Reservation and means “land set apart for Menominee people.” This unveiling also comes during National Native American Heritage Month.
Wisconsin is home to 12 Native Nations, including the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Forest County Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk Nation, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Oneida Nation, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians, and Brothertown Indian Nation. Federally recognized Tribes are invited to learn more about the dual-language sign program and apply at the WisDOT website.