The Rapid City, S.D., Journal has been doing a good job of keeping up with the issue of whether Oelrichs, S.D., High School senior Aloysius Dreaming Bear can wear Native regalia to his graduation. A federal judge this week backed the school in its decision to grant it. The Journal has expanded is coverage to include other schools. This story by Kayla Gahagan stands as a nice balance to the Oelrichs situation.
Back from left, Hot Springs seniors Marina Shortbull, Charity Rouillard-Taylor and Jana Hildebrand get handshakes from Wakiyan Cook, 6, front left, and Wicahpi Cook, 4, front right, during the Feather Ceremony at the Stevens High School Gymnasium in Rapid City on Wednesday, May 12, 2010. Wakiyan Cook dressed as a grass dancer and Wicahpi Cook dressed as a jingle dress dancer. Both Cooks participated in the Feather Ceremony. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Rapid City Journal)
Central High School's Jace Jackson, right, receives a hug after falling to tears after receiving his plume during the Feather Ceremony at the Stevens High School Gymnasium in Rapid City on Wednesday. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Rapid City Journal)
The Oelrichs School District would not permit a Native American student to wear traditional Lakota clothing during graduation this weekend.
Faced with a similar request, Rapid City Area Schools decided otherwise.
For the first time in more than a decade, a request came from a student — a graduating Native American from Central High School — to wear traditional Lakota regalia during commencement ceremonies.
And the request was granted.
“I admire the school board … for not making it an issue,” said Dolores Riley, director of Indian Education in the district. “We value the diversity students bring.”
The Central student is a dancer and has been very active in Native American traditions, Riley said.
“It’s not like she wants to be an Indian on that day. It’s a part of her family and her life.”
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Tags: Aloysius Dreaming Bear, buffalo post, First Amendment, Gwen Florio, Indian education, Lakota, Native American news, Native American regalia, Oelrichs High School, Rapid City Area Schools, U.S. District Court Judge Jeff Viken