After years of futility, Spirit Lake gets new border signs

State News

This Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 photo provided by Spirit Lake Tribal Chairman Doug Yankton shows a new sign marking the southern border of the reservation near the town of Sheyenne, N.D. The state Department of Transportation remapped and replaced all the signs at the reservation’s major ports of entry after they moved in recent years primarily because of ongoing flooding of a lake on the northern part of the territory. The tribe had tried unsuccessfully for nearly two decades to get the markers in their rightful place. (Doug Yankton via AP)

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The Spirit Lake Tribe has been trying for nearly two decades to get North Dakota officials to replace signs at the reservation’s major ports of entry that were moved because of the ongoing flooding of Devils Lake.

With help from the state Department of Transportation, the markers are back in their rightful place.

Tribal Chairman Doug Yankton says it is as much about principle as it is property. He says it highlights tribal sovereignty and shows the importance of tribal members learning about their history and culture.

Yankton and the tribe finally got their new signs after state transportation director Bill Panos visited the reservation and received a four-hour tour that stretched to every end of the reservation.

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