Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Dual Language Signs Ceremony and Installation

No matter where you go in the country or state, highway signs for places are fairly uniform. Giant green signs with big block letters in white mark the location letting you know what town or city you’re in. A new sign installed Monday in Mole Lake prominently reads Sokaogon Chippewa Community with the tribe’s seal beside it.

But different from the vast majority of similar signs you find across the state, this one includes the tribe’s name in their own Ojibwemoin language.

“Zaaga’inganiin,” said Chairman Robert VanZile reading from the sign. “It’s a spiritual, cultural light that was in the water. It’s part of our teaching and our migration stories, teachings that came about a long, long time ago.”

Sokaogon Chippewa Community Chairman Robert VanZile was proud to unveil the new sign Friday alongside community members and officials from federal and state transportation offices.

“It’s very positive. It’s heartwarming to see these dual language signs come to life. It’s an ideal that should have happened a long time ago, but it’s happening today and that’s a good thing,” he said.

The Sokaogon Chippewa Community is the fourth tribe in Wisconsin to install a dual-language sign.