OBIT: Peter J. Belgarde Jr., “Wambdi Wakan Inaji” (Standing Holy Eagle)
Peter J. Belgarde Jr., “Wambdi Wakan Inaji” (Standing Holy Eagle), 75, of St. Michael, ND, and entered the Spirit World on Saturday, July 11, 2020, at the Lakota Good Samaritan Center. Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday, July 17 at 10 a.m. at St. Michael’s Catholic Church with Reverend Paul Schuster celebrating the Mass. Visitation was held at St. Michael’s Catholic Church on Thursday, July 16 from 5 until 10 p.m. with a Rosary and Prayer Service at 7 p.m. The procession to St. Michael left at 4 p.m. on Thursday from City Plaza, Devils Lake. Peter will be laid to rest in St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery with Military Honors accorded by the Spirit Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 6547. All Drum Groups and Singers are welcome to share their songs in memory of Peter. Escorts for Peter will be Caliyah Yankton, Ahburey Baker, Cayden Belgarde, Taylee Ross and Lylah Greene. Pallbearers will be: Cody Belgarde, Cameron Delorme, Terrence “TJ” Ross, Brent Belgarde, Tyler Ross, Michael Belgarde, Kevin Brown Jr. and Larrence Greene. Honorary Bearers will be: Rory and Charlotte Riggin, Pete Davis, John and Penny Knutson, Gary Owlboy, Demus McDonald, Timmy Cottonwood, Delbert “Lefty” Cloud, Verna and Ron Baker, Steve Jetty, Raymond and Faye Jetty, Francis Owlboy Jr., Tony McDonald, Josie Lawrence, Carolyn and Fidel Reyes, Billy Dean Cavanaugh, Aloysius Cloud, Inez Towner, Allen Racine, Ron Wentz, Remi Yankton, Paul “Pinky” Driver Jr., James “JJ” Baker Jr., Darrel Lawrence, Glen Abraham, Chuck Trottier, Ron Eagleman, Shayna Dubois, Leedima Steffen, all brothers and sisters of Pete, all past co-workers, Dakota 38+2 Riders, and all nieces and nephews. We want to offer a special thank you to the Lakota Good Samaritan Society Nursing Staff, Spirit Lake Tribal Health workers and Spirit Lake Ambulance. We apologize if we missed anyone, it wasn’t intentional. Peter James Belgarde Jr. was born on Sept. 26, 1944, at Fort Totten, ND, the son of Peter Belgarde Sr. and Mary Jane (Grandbois) Belgarde. He was raised by his loving mother Mary Jane and stepdad, Mike Thompson. He was the proud descendent of Chief Waanatan II. Peter attended school at the Little Flower Mission School, Flandreau Boarding School in South Dakota and graduated from the Benson County Agricultural School in Maddock, ND, with the class of 1964. He continued his education at the University of California at Berkeley. Peter entered the United States Army on Sept. 9, 1966. and served his country with honor during the Vietnam War. He served with the 2nd Battalion, 44th Artillery Company in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged from active service on Sept. 6, 1968, with the rank of Specialist 4 and served with the US Army Reserves until Sept, of 1972. After his discharge, Peter returned to North Dakota and enrolled at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake. He then began a career in Law Enforcement, attending the North Dakota Police Academy in Bismarck, ND, and also received Officer Training at Brigham City, Utah. From 1972 to 1980, he was a Law Enforcement Officer with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and also with the BIA Special Operations and was involved in investigation and solving several high profile cases both locally and internationally. He continued in Law Enforcement with the Devils Lake Police Department from 1983 until 1987 and then as a Detective and Deputy Sheriff with the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department until 1989. Peter then put his knowledge of the law and was the Chief Judge for the Devils Lake Sioux Tribe in 1989, semi-retiring in 1991, but returned to again serve his Tribe as the Chief Judge until 2010. Peter loved the people of the Spirit Lake Nation and as the Tribal Chairman from 1991 to 1995 he put forth many goals, including but not limited to establishing the Spirit Lake Tribe Fire Department and Ambulance Service, implementing the tribe’s first personnel department complete with policies and procedures, restructuring the Bingo Palace, establishing a working budget for the tribe and instrumental in so many other areas of tribal operation. As the waters of Devils Lake were rising, Peter put in many hours as a Tribal consultant on the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District. Peter loved horses and worked training horses for many years, in younger years was a Bull and Saddle Bronc rider and participated in Team Roping in his later years. Peter was at one time married to Rita Davis Belgarde and they were the proud parents of Brenda and Michael. Peter served his country and his beloved Tribe with honor and integrity. He loved his family with all his heart and worked hard to provide for them. He left them the legacy of service to others, love for all, faith in his God and Creator. Peter is survived by his loving family. His daughter, Brenda (Ed) Belgarde; and son, Michael Belgarde; nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, Cody Belgarde and his children, Caliyah Yankton and Cayden Belgarde, Cameron Delorme, Brittni (Mitch) Belgarde and their children, Ahburey, Larrence, Lylah, Mitchell and Michael Greene, Terrence “T.J.” Ross and his children, Rayden Ross and Gianna Carpenter, Tyler (Cierra) Ross, Brent Belgarde and his children, Misu Richotte, Ryder and Haisley Littleghost, Michael Belgarde, Kevin Brown Jr. and his child, Taven Driver, Taylee Ross; brothers, Alfred Thompson, Robert “Kojak” Thompson, Francis “Frenchy” Brown, Skip Longie Sr. and Larry Belgarde; sisters, Lillie Owlboy, Imogene Belgarde, Arlene Belgarde, Audrey Belgarde, Joann Belgarde, Luella “Lulu” (George Fredricks) Thompson, Sheila Thompson and Joyce Greene; godchildren, Joleen St. Claire, Anthony LaCroix and Everett “Cowboy” Thompson; many, many dear nieces, nephews and their families. He was preceded in death by; his parents, Peter Sr., Mary Jane and Mike; sisters, Beatrice Joramo, Shirley Belgarde, Anna Mae Belgarde and Theresa Belgarde; brothers, Donald “Donny” Belgarde, Mike “Buggs” Thompson Jr. and Leander Belgarde; niece, Marie Belgarde; nephews, Donald “Sonny” Belgarde Jr., Alvin “Cowboy” Owlboy, Paul Thompson, Todd “T.J.” Belgarde, Ellie J. Blackbird and Davey Belgarde; uncles, Ambrose, Moses, Francis and James Thompson, Louis, Fred, John and Dave Grandbois; and god-son, David “Davey” Lawrence.