Updated Welcome to Princeton Signs
Over the past four years, several members of our community have attended council meetings and, during public comment, have questioned why the Welcome to Princeton signs at entrances to town include the wording “Settled in 1683.” According to the comments, it implies that 1683 was the first and only time that people inhabited this land. Earlier this year, the governing body referred the question to Princeton’s Civil Rights Commission (CRC) and asked for recommendations on what, if any, changes could be made.
Following the presentation to Council on April 10, 2023, by CRC Commissioner Nick Di Domizio, consensus was made to remove the wording on the signage, followed by a long-term approach that could include signage at more accessible and pedestrian friendly locations that would direct individuals to a municipal webpage so that residents can learn more about Princeton’s history.
As of last week, the signs at the entrances to town have been updated thanks to Deputy Administrator Deanna Stockton, who ensured that the project was completed in a timely and professional manner that did not require entirely new signs.
Councilwoman Leticia Fraga read a statement at the July 24 Council meeting on the updated signage:
"The removal of the 'settled in' wording on the signs is an important first step in recognizing and acknowledging that Indigenous people were the original caretakers and stewards of the land long before any settlers arrived. Acknowledging Indigenous land does not negate or dismiss the contributions of those who came afterwards. It does not minimize or overshadow the achievements and contributions of individuals, communities, or cultures that have shaped Princeton over time. Instead, this acknowledgment allows us the opportunity to embrace a more complete and inclusive understanding of history that recognizes the important role of Indigenous people while also highlighting the diverse narratives and experiences that have shaped our community.
By first recognizing the historical significance of Indigenous land, we can foster a deeper sense of interconnectedness, empathy, and cultural appreciation within our communities. At the same time, following up with a webpage that includes historical data points that relate to major historical events or historic neighborhoods within the Municipality of Princeton would be an opportunity for all to celebrate the resilience, perseverance, and contributions of diverse cultures, recognizing the collective heritage that we all share. It is through unity and collaboration that we can build a more inclusive, equitable, and thriving society for present and future generations.”
For more information on this initiative, email Councilwoman Leticia Fraga at firstname.lastname@example.org.