Highway signs feature Dakota name for Upper Sioux Community

MnDOT unveils four signs on Highways 167 and 274

Photo Deb Gau One of four recently unveiled signs in Dakota and English stands along Prairie’s Edge Lane, entering the Upper Sioux Community. The signs use the traditional Dakota name for the community, “Peźihutazizi Kapi Makoće.”

UPPER SIOUX COMMUNITY — New highway signs at the Upper Sioux Community don’t just mark a boundary — they also highlight the Dakota name for the community.

Last week, the Upper Sioux Community and the Minnesota Department of Transportation unveiled four signs featuring the Upper Sioux Tribal Seal and the tribe’s name in both Dakota and English. A post on the Upper Sioux Community’s Facebook page last week said two of the new signs are located on Highway 167, one on Highway 274, and one entering onto Prairie’s Edge Lane.

The signs read “Peźihutazizi Kapi Makoće,” with the English translation “Land Where They Dig the Yellow Medicine” underneath.

There are dual language signs marking the borders of other tribal lands in Minnesota, including the Lower Sioux Community in southwest Minnesota, said Levi Brown, director of tribal affairs at MnDOT.

But there are some unique things about the new signs at the Upper Sioux Community. The Dakota name on the new signs is not one that was given to the tribe by another government, Brown said. Another unusual thing about the new signs is that they were on a state highway, he said.

Upper Sioux Community Tribal Chairman Kevin Jensvold said yellow medicine was how the tribe identified their people as caretakers of the land, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported last week. Yellow medicine is the root of a medicinal plant, moonseed, found in the region.


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