There are many big noisy machines inside the sawmill.
M.T.E. is a sawmill located in Neopit, Wisconsin. Big trees are trucked to the sawmill where they are cut for sale. Look at the logs lined up ready to go in to the sawmill.
Men at Work The noise of big machines make it impossible for workers to hear. Men wear headphones to protect their ears from noise.
Menominee Mill Talk Mill workers often use sign language to “talk” to each over the noise of the big machines. We will practice a basic counting system people use to sign one another at the Menominee mill. Practice forming the number signs with your hands. (Say the number words out loud while you learn.) Soon you will know how to count to ten in “Mill Talk” sign language.
Glossary Ne kot 1 Nīs 2 Naeq niw 3 Nīw 4 Ni an an 5 Ne kū tua se tah 6 Nō he kan 7 Su a sek 8 Sāk a͞ew 9 Me tā tah 10
Teacher Notes The sign language used by Menominee Tribal Enterprise mill workers has its roots in the Native sign language practiced in the ancient tradition of trade among Indigenous people. The MTE lumber mill is one of few places remaining where Native sign language is still used every day. Mill Talk is a celebration of the spirit of adaptation and ingenuity of Indigenous culture.
General Information Menominee Mill Talk is an informational picture story book supported by the Sacred Little Ones initiative and dedicated to the infusion of Indigenous culture and reading instruction for American Indian children. The project is funded by the American Indian College Fund and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.