BEMIDJI -- The city of Bemidji will commemorate the birthday of Roger Jourdain on Tuesday, July 27 by raising the Red Lake flag at Bemidji City Hall.

Jourdain was the first tribal chairman for the Red Lake Nation, a position he entered in 1959 and held for 31 years. Roger Jourdain Day was created by then-Bemidji Mayor Dave Larson, who signed a proclamation stating every July 27 will be set aside in the chairman's honor.

Jourdain died in 2002 at the age of 89. According to the 2011 proclamation, Jourdain helped establish the Minneapolis Indian Health Board and the Minnesota Indian Scholarship program. While in office, the Red Lake Nation Tribal Information Center, Red Lake Library and the Jourdain/Perpich Nursing Home were also established.

The proclamation additionally states that under Jourdain's leadership, "new homes were built, better roads were constructed and retail centers were established in both Red Lake and Ponemah."

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