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Missoula discusses adding native language to signs

By Kevin Lessard, KCFW Reporter, klessard@kcfw.com
Published On: Oct 14 2013 06:11:10 PM MDT
Updated On: Oct 14 2013 06:34:27 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Members of the Missoula City Council spent their Columbus Day meeting with members of the Salish-Pend d'Oreille culture committee to discuss the possibility of incorporating the native language onto signs across Missoula.

The city of Missoula may soon be seeing new signs with what could be an unfamiliar language to some.

City council members and Salish-Pend d'Oreille culture committee members are discussing adding the native language on new road signs in Missoula as part of an ongoing effort between the two groups to work together.

In late 2012 the city of Missoula passed a resolution formally recognizing government to government relations between the city and the tribe.  Both sides seem to agree that it's been helpful in setting up this meeting, and the potential for more things in the future.

“The potential for something like this I think is great," said Tony Incashola, the director of the Salish and Pend d'Oreille culture committee. He believes there's great educational value in working with the city council to add native language to these signs.

“By putting up signs, it will get people to realize and understand where they live and what's beneath all the concrete and the history that's in that area.”

The project would contain multiple types of signs, including educational information on specific sites or land as well as signs with the native language of various landmarks or places in Missoula.

While it's still early on in the developmental stages, Incashola is confident that they can complete the project, and hopes that these signs and this project is a gateway to future endeavors with the city of Missoula.

“Thinking in terms of the same direction, I think when you do that, you get a better understanding of each other and not only that, but you get better support.”