Leaders from the five Native American tribes in North Dakota will hold a Native American Flag Ceremony to formally present tribal flags to Governor Doug Burgum. The ceremony will be held at 12:00 noon on January 17, 2019, in Memorial Hall. A free meal will be provided.
A Flag Ceremony includes an Honor Guard of Native veterans, drum groups, an explanation of the meaning and cultural importance of the flags, and a blessing of the flags by spiritual leaders.
Senator Richard Marcellais of Belcourt (D-9) has long been a supporter of displaying tribal flags in the Capitol building. The idea came about during a Native American Legislative Caucus that Senator Marcellais attended in 2012 in Montana. The flags of Montana’s tribal nations are all displayed in the Montana Senate and House Chambers.
“It was an impressive display, and showed a bonding relationship between the Montana Native American tribes and the state of Montana,” Senator Marcellais said. “I want to thank Governor Burgum for his executive decision to display the North Dakota Tribal Nations Flags in the Memorial Hall of the State Capitol.”
The five North Dakota Tribal Nations are: Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara Nation; Spirit Lake Nation; Standing Rock Nation; Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate; and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.
Legislation that would have authorized displaying the Tribal Nations’ flags alongside the United States and North Dakota flags were introduced during the 63rd, 64th and 65th Legislative Sessions with no success.
Tribal flags are also displayed at the Fargo Air Museum, Fargo City Hall, Grand Forks City Hall, and the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Kennedy Center in Bismarck.