Cloquet receives $50K grant for cultural riverfront signage

The grant will allow the city to produce signage detailing the unique local narrative of Native Americans and settlers in the area.

Cloquet city hall sign.jpg
Cloquet City Hall.
Dylan Sherman/ 2022 File / Pine Journal
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CLOQUET — A Blandin Foundation Leadership Boost grant totaling $50,000 was awarded to the city of Cloquet to be used to create unique local narratives of Native Americans and settlers in the form of riverfront signage, according to a news release.

The project will produce interpretive signage for installation leading into Cloquet’s riverfront trailhead area for Spafford Park and Dunlap Island.

Holly Hansen, Cloquet's community development director, said the project provides a unique opportunity to bride the cultural gap.

“The chance to apply for extra creative funding, versus a taxpayer necessity, is simply unprecedented from a municipal perspective,” Hansen said.

According to the news release, the area currently lacks any representative information about Cloquet’s local native Ojibwe culture.


The goal of the project is to graphically document important local images of cultural and historical significance to showcase the people, the languages and the stories.

The hope for the cultural project is to generate a destination of interest for cross-cultural tourism along the St. Louis riverfront and could stimulate cultural tourism interest for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation’s cultural events, the news release said.

The grant gives the city the chance to think big and acknowledge the collective cultural story, City Administrator Tim Peterson said.

"I hope this project builds a sense of place and pride in who we collectively are,” he said.

According to the news release, Leadership Boost Grants were launched to encourage Minnesotans living in rural and Tribal communities to be visionary and creative as they move their communities forward after two years of challenges.

The second public hearing on the topic is scheduled for March 9, and is being held after residents provided comments and concerns during the first hearing on Jan. 26.

Dylan covers the local governments of Cloquet and Carlton County, as well as the Esko and Wrenshall school boards for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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