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Grand Portage Flag Dedication Ceremony Next Friday

On Friday, May 31, a ceremony at the courtroom in the Cook County Courthouse in Grand Marais will dedicate the flag of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, placing it in an honored place with the flags of the United States and the State of Minnesota.

The program, commencing at 10 a.m., is open to all members of the public. The Honorable Steven B. Hanke, Judge for Sixth Judicial District, will offer opening remarks and extend a warm invitation to join him in this significant event.

After an invocation, the Stonebridge Singers and the Grand Portage Honor Guard will honor the flag. Robert Deschampe, chairperson of the Grand Portage Tribal Council, will speak to conclude the ceremony.

Immediately following the ceremony, coffee and pastries will be served in the Cook County Commissioners Room on the courthouse’s first floor.

The ceremony highlights the Grand Portage Band’s self-governing authority. Having their flag displayed in the courtroom signifies their legitimacy within Cook County. The flag represents the Grand Portage Band’s heritage and identity, and the dedication ceremony is a way to honor their culture and traditions within the legal system.

The flag dedication ceremony is not just about the Grand Portage Band, but about the entire Cook County community. It’s a collective step towards acknowledging and respecting the Grand Portage Band’s legal jurisdiction, making it a community event that everyone is encouraged to participate in.

Steve Fernlund
Steve Fernlund
Typically these “about me” pages include a list of academic achievements (I have none) and positions held (I have had many, but who really cares about those?) So, in the words of the late Admiral James Stockwell, “Who am I? Why am I here?” I’m well into my seventh decade on this blue planet we call home. I’m a pretty successful husband, father, and grandfather, at least in my humble opinion. My progeny may disagree. We have four children and five grandchildren. I spent most of my professional life in the freight business. At the tender age of 40, early retirement beckoned and we moved to Grand Marais. A year after we got here, we bought and operated the Cook County News Herald, a weekly newspaper in Grand Marais. A sharp learning curve for a dumb freight broker to become a newspaper editor and publisher. By 1999 the News Herald was an acquisition target for a rapidly consolidating media market. We sold our businesses and “retired” again, buying a winter retreat in Nevada. In the fall of 2016, we returned to Grand Marais and bought a house from old friends of ours on the ridge overlooking Lake Superior. They were able to move closer to family and their Mexico winter home. And we came home to what we say is our last house. I’m a strong believer in the value of local newspapers--both online and those you can wrap a fish in. I write a weekly column and a couple of feature stories for the Northshore Journal. I’m most interested in writing about the everyday lives of local people and reporting on issues of importance to them.
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