WisDOT to install dual-language signs at tribal boundaries

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will install dual-language signs at tribal boundaries across the state.

Each sign will include the name of a region in both English and the language of the native tribe.

The first sign was unveiled Wednesday in Bayfield County, in partnership with the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

Road Sign

The sign featured the tribal seal, and the tribe’s name in its native language Gaa-Miskwaabikaang, along with an English translation and population of the area.

Gaa-Miskwaabikaang, pronounced ga-misk-wah-be-kong, translates to “the place where there is red rock cliffs.”

“Traffic signage is always about signifying a sense of place,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said in a statement. “There is no more specific way to define where you are than in their native language used to define the landscape so long ago.”

The signs cost on average $350 to $400 and are funded through the standard signage replacement processes and the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer’s program.