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State marks ceded territory on Northeastern Minnesota roadways

The first of a dozen signs went up earlier this week, marking lands ceded in the 1854 Treaty.

1854 treaty land_web.jpg
Gary Meader / Duluth News Tribune
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Ceded territory that makes up Northeastern Minnesota will bear notice to the 1854 Treaty that defined its boundaries.

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, a Thursday news release said.

The first sign is located on southbound Minnesota Highway 61, just south of the Canadian border and entrance to Grand 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 earlier this week to celebrate the sign’s placement and honor the tribal sovereignty and rights of the Anishinaabe tribal nations in the territory.

"It is something that was long overdue," Chairman Robert Deschampe, of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, said in the release. "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).
  • Interstate 35 (near Sturgeon Lake).
  • Highway 23 (near Duquette).
  • U.S. 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.

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