Education | National

Native Sun News: School rejects honoring song at graduation

The following story was written and reported by Brandon Ecoffey, Native Sun News Managing Editor. All content © Native Sun News.

Chamberlain School board says no honoring song
By Brandon Ecoffey
Native Sun News Managing Editor

CHAMBERLAIN — For the second time in two years the Chamberlain School Board voted against the inclusion of a traditional honor song during the end of the year graduation ceremony.

In a vote of 4 - 2 opposing the singing of a traditional Lakota honor song during graduation the school board voiced multiple hostile opinions against conceding to the requests of Native American students and community members who had been lobbying the school board for its inclusion.

Board President Rebecca Reimer was quoted by the Mitchell Daily Republic as saying, “Here we are again voting on a topic which is meant to honor all and bring people together. Instead it’s dividing a community… It’s about control and power,” she said. “I’m extremely disappointed in a handful of people.”

The lone Native American on the board, Marcel Felicia, was joined by Foster Iverson as the only two board members who supported the inclusion of the song.

Last year the school had the national spotlight shined on them as Indian newspapers around the country watched closely as the school denied the honoring song. The action led Crow Creek Sioux Tribal president Brandon Sazue, to threaten boycotts of local businesses and banking center. Calls to Sazue went unanswered Tuesday morning.

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at

Copyright permission by Native Sun News

Join the Conversation