Roger Jourdain celebrated in Bemidji
July 28, 2021
Today is Roger Jourdain Day, commemorating Red Lake Nation's first tribal chairman on what would have been his 108th birthday.
The City of Bemidji has commemorated the day annually since the proclamation in 2011 by former mayor Dave Larson.
The Red Lake Nation flag was raised at 7:30 this morning at City Hall.
Jourdain was Red Lake's Chairman for 31 years, first entering the post in 1959.
He died in 2002 at the age of 89.
Jourdain's accomplishments include helping establish the Minneapolis Indian Health Board and the Minnesota Indian Scholarship program, in addition to presiding as chairman during the establishment of the Red Lake Nation Tribal Information Center, the Red Lake Library, and the Jourdain/Perpich Nursing Home.
Greater Bemidji wrote: Today the Red Lake Nation flag flies over the City of Bemidji in honor or Roger A. Jourdain Day. Chairman Jourdain was the first Tribal Chairman of Red Lake Nation, a position he held for 31 years. He dedicated his life to Indian people, the land and to the preservation of the culture, heritage and history.
As the proclamation states, "In his memory it is hoped that the sovereignty of Indian people will be honored, upheld and respected."
We at Greater Bemidji are grateful for the many contributions our indigenous community members have and continue to make in our community, and for the partnership we share with the Red Lake, Leech Lake and White Earth Tribal Councils.