Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Nov. 5, 2021

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MnDOT to install signage acknowledging 1854 Tribal Treaty boundaries

DULUTH, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation has installed the first of 12 signs to permanently mark the boundaries of the 1854 Treaty between the United States and three Anishinaabe Tribal Nations. The sign is located on southbound Highway 61, just south of the Canadian border and entrance to Grant Portage State Park.

MnDOT Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher joined Tribal leaders from the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, and Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Nov. 1 to celebrate the sign’s placement and honor the Tribal sovereignty and rights of the Anishinaabe Tribal Nations in this ceded territory.

Chairman Robert Deschampe of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa stated regarding the signage installation, "It is something that was long overdue. When people enter the 1854 Treaty area they will know where they are and, hopefully, educate themselves about treaties." 

The additional 11 signs will be placed on the following state highways that also cross the 1854 Treaty boundary:

  • Highway 53 (near Cook)
  • Highway 169 (near Chisholm)
  • Highway 37 (near Hibbing airport)
  • Highway 2 (near Floodwood)
  • Highway 210 (near Tamarack)
  • Highway 27 (west of Moose Lake)
  • Highway 65 (west of Sturgeon Lake)
  • Highway 65 (west of Sturgeon Lake)
  • I-35 (near Sturgeon Lake)
  • Highway 23 (near Duquette)
  • Highway 53 (entering Duluth from Superior)

MnDOT worked with the Advocacy Council for Tribal Transportation – which is made up of 11 Tribal officials representing Tribal Nations in Minnesota – to acknowledge land ceded by Tribal Governments by treaties.