Drivers passing through Mille Lacs County might notice some new highway signs.
Last week, the Minnesota Department of Transportation placed signs, at the Mille Lacs Band request, where the believed reservation’s boundaries to be. The signs read "Mille Lacs Reservation / Established in the 1855 Treaty"
There currently is an ongoing lawsuit over the 61,000 acre reservation boundary between the Mille Lacs Band and Mille Lacs County. The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe claims that reservation still exists with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison backing the claims.
"These signs will not affect our pending lawsuit, but are an important reminder of the establishment of our Reservation." stated the Mille Lac Band of Ojibwe in a Facebook post
In a press release issued Tuesday, Mille Lacs County stated that the issue of the boundary will be decided by the federal courts and not the placement of the Minnesota DOT signs. It is the county's position that the reservation only consists of around 4,000 acres, with much of the original reservation was dissolved by court rulings and treaties.
Arguments on the issue are expected to be heard in March.