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Charly Haley, Published January 11 2013

Members of North Dakota tribes to walk in inaugural parade

FARGO – When Prairie Rose Seminole received a call about North Dakota Native American participation in President Obama’s inauguration parade on Jan. 21, she was absolutely interested, but she didn’t have much time to organize it.

“We really did work a small miracle to get as many folks as we could,” she said.

Seminole and 54 other members of North Dakota tribes will be walking in the parade.

Seminole, who lives in Fargo, said most groups that walk in the inaugural parade had eight months to prepare, but she and the tribes of North Dakota only had seven days.

Seminole was called when the inaugural committee realized it didn’t have a delegation from North Dakota, she said.

She gathered representatives from North Dakota’s tribes: the Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold, Spirit Lake Nation of Fort Totten, Standing Rock Dakota, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

Those who will be walking in the parade range from veterans to 7-year-olds, Seminole said. Some plan to walk in traditional attire.

“We have a very diverse group,” she said.

Twyla Baker-Demaray, an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes who lives in Grand Forks, is among those attending.

“I am very excited. It’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” she said. “I’ve been to D.C. a few times before, but not in this capacity.”

While in the nation’s capital, the group will participate in many inauguration events, as well as tour the historical sites.

Seminole said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., provided tickets to the inauguration to tribal members who are unable to walk the 15-block parade route. She said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., has also been supportive.

“It’s a huge honor to be able to welcome the president to his second term,” Seminole said.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Charly Haley at (701) 235-7311