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"I think it's greatly appreciated," Glodt said of the honoring song. "I would also say that I don't get comments that ask why we do that."

here."

Though board members promised to vote on the issue May 13, they have declined such requests in the past, instead leaving the honoring of their tribal students to a "feathering" ceremony led by the district's Native American Club and held the night before graduation.

an honoring song during graduation, Mitchell said.

district has incorporated the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understanding and Standards into its curriculum, requiring all of its students to exhibit an understanding of tribal culture in the state.

Parents and students in the Chamberlain School District upset with a local board decision prohibiting a Native American honoring song during graduation ceremonies are pushing hard in the last weeks before the May 19 event for a different outcome.

"The Institute for Healing Racism was a ray of hope," he said.

The district's Native American club hosts a powwow, she said, adding, "We really try to reach out and talk with our parents and families and provide events for them that are beneficial for them and their children."

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On Tuesday night, a student delegation presented a petition to the school board requesting the honor song at graduation, saying it is culturally appropriate and significant in a district where one third to one half of all students are Native American.

today."

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Some students and parents in the Chamberlain School District are lobbying their board to allow the performing of a Native American honoring song at the May 19 graduation ceremony. While they insist the song honors all graduating seniors, it also is a reflection of a significant tribal student presence in the district. Here is a breakdown of that presence:

Some other districts allow such songsFrustration also is fueled by the fact that other school districts with large tribal populations are allowing honoring songs at their graduations. Bruce Carrier, superintendent at Winner the last two years and for the Lyman School District before that, said both districts where he has served have incorporated a Adidas Sl 72 Men's tribal honoring song into their commencement exercises.

Cadwell said Johnson and other district administrators and staff took part in a workshop called the Institute for Healing Racism that focused on issues of racism in the area. Native Americans participated in it as well. For him, that makes this discussion even more frustrating.

That reasoning doesn't play well with the Native American constituency that sees such actions as simply one more wedge in efforts to bridge cultural and racial differences in the community.

"That would be fine with me," Rank said. "Let's embrace diversity. Let's cross barriers. But it's like it's better to stay in conflict, so let's leave it as an Indian non Indian topic."

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"The concept behind the workshop was really good. The information that was shared is really good. The biggest frustration then is still trying to convince everyone that participated . and over 50 people went through the training . that there is an issue here.

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It has established a Native American advisory group. It holds at least two events each school year where staff travels to the reservations to meet with parents and show them, for example, how to access their children's grades and studies online.

An honoring song is performed during that ceremony, Superintendent Debra Johnson said, and students also can receive star quilts, and eagle feathers and plumes. Asked why the board also doesn't also allow an honoring song during graduation, Johnson replied, "(the board) wanted to keep the graduation ceremony in the tradition that it has been."

´╗┐Chamberlain agonizes over Native song at graduation

Reaching out

Like Chamberlain, Rapid City conducts what it calls a feathering ceremony before graduation, with eagle feathers and plumes and quilts, Mitchell said. That event also honors Native American students from the region outside the district, he said. But they also bring in a tribal singer to perform Adidas Originals Tech Super 2

"What's really harsh to me is that we even have to talk about this kind of thing yet Adidas Originals Blue Tech Super Trainers

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"Yes, I think racism is at play in this decision," said Jim Cadwell, a bilingual instructor for the Crow Creek tribal schools and a parent of three children who went through the Chamberlain district. "That comes from the last 12 years of living here. There's a mentality here. . I don't know; I just really wish it wasn't Adidas Y 3 Qasa

"I view the honor song as a song that honors all our graduates, not just our Native American graduates," Carrier said. "I believe it has added to our graduation exercise."

Tim Mitchell and Kelly Glodt, superintendents for the Rapid City and Pierre districts, echo those sentiments. In Pierre, the district holds a powwow in early May to honor graduates and eighth graders moving up to high school, Glodt said. Star quilts are presented then, and there's a free buffalo feed as well. But the district also has an honoring song performed early in the graduation ceremony.

in other waysJohnson insisted that the Chamberlain district does many things to embrace and reach out to its Native American students and families.

Chepa Rank of Fort Thompson, who has a daughter at Chamberlain High, said she has heard board members say that bringing an honoring song into the graduation ceremony means they will have to allow similar requests from other families of different cultural backgrounds.

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