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Bilingual signs coming to Bemidji shops

Bilingual signs are showing up in Bemidji shops, so you can order soup in Ojibway or go wash up in the “Ininiwag” room.

Bemidji’s Cabin Coffee House & Café is the first business to put up the English/Ojibway signs, but more places plan to start soon, reports Molly Miron in the Bemidji Pioneer.

Noemi Aylesworth, Cabin Coffee House owner, said the idea came from Shared Vision, a Bemidji group working to improve relations between American Indians and others in town.

Shared Vision members Michael Meuers and Rachelle Houle had set a goal of getting 20 businesses to put up the bilingual signs within a year. But already nine more are on board, and they might have 20 by the end of the month.

Sandy Jo Pilgrim, owner of SJ & Company Hair Design & Day Spa, The T-Shirt Shop and My Best Friend’s Closet, said she’ll have signs soon.

“I’ve been talking to some of my clients from the reservation, because I didn’t want to do anything offensive, and they love it,” Pilgrim said.

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