Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

First Native Nations Night Held at Sanford Center, BSU Hockey


The Puck Drop, Left to right: Mavericks Representative #25 Brent Gwidt, Leech Lake Chairwoman Carri Jones, White Earth Chairwoman Erma J. Vizenor, Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr., and representing the Beavers #9 Ben Kinne.

The first ever Native American night was held at the Sanford center featuring a puck drop by the three Chairpersons of Minnesota three largest Indian tribes on Friday evening January 25, 2013. It was billed as "a night to honor the Native Peoples and heritage of the Bemidji region."

A reduced ticket price resulted in hundreds of Boys and Girls Clubs members, youth parents and families, from each reservation to attend the special game courtesy of their respective tribal councils. Tribal Councils also provided transportation through each tribe's transit services.

The evening began with the Kingbird Singers rendering a flag song, appropriately, just prior to the National Anthem. Microphones were placed near the drum to amplify the drum and singers. "During the sound check, prior to the game and the building still empty, the sound of the drum sent chills up my spine as it filled every corner of the arena," said Cyrus Panche, Director of Marketing and Sales at Sanford Center.

After the flag songs, Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr., White Earth Chairwoman Erma J. Vizenor, and Leech Lake Chairwoman Carri Jones dropped the pre-game pucks during this "first" Native Nations Night, honoring the tribal nations surrounding Bemidji. Team representatives from the Bemidji State University Beavers and the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks posed with the Chairpersons while waiting for the puck to drop and continue their rivalry.

Chairpersons pose with BSU Beavers mascot. Left to right Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr., White Earth Chairwoman Erma Vizenor, "Bucky" the Mascot, and Leech Lake Chairwoman Carri Jones.

All three chairpersons watched the game from the BSU Foundation Suite as guests of Jake Bluhm, Beaver Pride Coordinator. Other guests included the Executive Director of the Foundation Rob Bollinger and his wife Lisa, Dr. Anton Treuer, Executive Director, American Indian Resource Center at BSU and others.

Panche said that earlier in September last year, talk began about having "theme weekends," and allow a discount for those honored. Thus the first ever Native Nations night was held.

Pansch also gave Chairman Jourdain and Red Lake Boys and Girls Club Director, Dawn Huseby, a personal tour of the hockey wing locker rooms and training facilities for both men's and women's hockey. Panche and Jourdain also discussed future possible events in the center such as pow wows, concerts and other related Native American/cultural events. That could include the possibility of co-sponsorships of events with profit sharing.

"I do believe that good events will happen because of this night and the collaboration with the tribal nation chair persons," said Huseby. "It was a great night."


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