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Native American tribes see flags placed at Grand Forks City Hall

The Manoomin Singers Drum Group of White Earth perform an honor song during a procession by the Native American Veteran Color Guard at Monday's City Council meeting. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald1 / 2
State Sen. Richard Marcellais of Belcourt presents Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown with a tribal flag from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa during a ceremony at the City Council meeting Monday. Flags from five Tribal Nations were presented at the meeting. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald2 / 2

With booming drumbeats and a solemn honor guard, four more flags made their way to the front of Grand Forks City Hall's council chambers on Monday night.

City leaders held a flag-installation ceremony at the start of the evening's City Council meeting, which placed Native American tribal flags from around the state on the dais, alongside the American flag and others in perpetuity. The move comes ahead of the annual Time-Out and Wacipi at UND this week.

Monday evening's events installed flags from the Three Affiliated Tribes, the Standing Rock Sioux, the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. Leaders hope to install the Spirit Lake Nation flag soon.

Ricky Smith of Callaway, Minn., was one of the drummers during Monday's ceremony. He said the moment was an important opportunity "just to know that our native communities are still alive and thriving and our traditions are alive."

City Council member Bret Weber added that he's glad to see the new standards at the front of Council chambers.

"We live and prosper on tribal lands. We do a lot of talk about honoring reservation communities and the people from those communities, and that too rarely goes beyond words, so it's nice to have this action and this symbol that will stay with City Hall."

Sam Easter

Sam Easter is a City Government reporter for the Grand Forks Herald. You can reach him with story tips, comments and ideas at 701-330-3441.

(701) 780-1108
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