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The city of Bemidji, Minnesota is the county seat of Beltrami County, and the largest commercial center between Grand Forks, North Dakota and Duluth, Minnesota. Situated on the southwestern banks of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji is the central hub of the Red Lake Indian Reservation, White Earth Indian Reservation, and the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. The early settlement was referred to as Pamitchi. Bemidji Township was platted in 1874 and organized in 1896, shortly after the village of Bemidji was chartered, having risen up around a trading post operated by George Earl and Merian Ellsworth Carson. Its name was derived from the Leech Lake Indian name for the lake, which was Bemidjigumaug. Bemidji is home to Bemidji State University, Northwest Technical College, and Oak Hills Christian College. The city is served by US Highway 1 and US Highway 71. Nearby communities include Alida, Becida, Birchmont, Cass Lake, Nary, Pinewood, Rosby, Scribner, Solway, Turtle River, and Wilton. Red Lake, Minnesota is about thirty-five miles north of Bemidji.

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