many reservations are located within South Dakota's boundaries?
dialects do the Native Americans in South Dakota speak?
many Washington High School students are Native Americans?
questions, posed during morning announcements beginning last Tuesday
to students and teachers at the high school, helped bring Monday's
Native American Day holiday to the forefront.
three students demonstrated fancy shawl dances during the lunch
periods, another way to draw attention to the holiday that, in South
Dakota, has replaced Columbus Day.
are the thoughts of some participants and viewers:
of Tess DeNoyer's aunts and uncles or older cousins know how to
do the traditional Lakota dances.
about five years ago, DeNoyer and a cousin decided they wanted to
learn. Their interest spread to young cousins, and now Tess' grandmother
spends her weekends making the clothing they wear.
American Day gives her a chance to share her culture with peers
who sometimes think she still lives in a tipi, DeNoyer says.
show everybody who Native Americans are today," the 17-year-old
isn't always easy. The noon demonstration was announced over the
school's public address system.
of the students said some of the little, younger freshmen were making
noises with their mouths and making fun of her," DeNoyer says.
she says she never hesitates to say she is Native American.
would have said, 'At least I know my heritage, where I come from
and some of the traditions that I have, and I'm not going to let
that fade away.' "
Herman views Native American Day as a chance to learn more about
very useful because you get to learn how they live and dance, and
how they do things and stuff," the 18-year-old senior says.
says he thinks students from different backgrounds get along well
all get along," he says. "There's no discrimination or anything."
such as demonstration of traditional Lakota dances serve as a good
educational tool, says Zahra Wol, a senior.
showed me how important the Native Americans are," 17-year-old Wol
know in the past some people in the past have made fun of them.
I went to school with many Native American kids. Today, I think
everyone likes them."
about cultural differences goes a long way to resolve problems,
Wol says. In a Friday class, students spent time talking about different
ethnicities and the issues they have encountered.
Native American Day is a way to celebrate the state's diverse cultures,
says junior Heidi Pedersen.
shows we enjoy people from other countries and other ethnicities
16-year-old Pedersen, who grew up with Native American Day rather
than Columbus Day, thinks better education on the change is needed.
She knows that Native people played a bigger role in the country
than the explorer, she's just not sure of the details.
somebody should have done a better job of explaining the difference
between Christopher Columbus Day and Native American Day," Pedersen
week ago in Modern Civilization, they said Christopher Columbus
discovered America. But really, he didn't discover anything but
a bunch of Native people who had no idea what he was doing."
Boyd spent the first eight years of his life living in North Carolina.
Columbus Day is observed there, but he remembers little about the
an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, 16-year-old Boyd
says he is comfortable with substituting Native American Day for
don't know a lot about him," he says of Columbus. "He sailed over
here on the Mayflower, that's probably all I know."
Native culture is dying out, the high school junior says. Events
such as the dance are a good way to bring that culture to the attention
Seten, 16, says he enjoys seeing snippets of other people's cultures,
such as the dance demonstration.
too, is vague on the accomplishments and demerits accrued by Columbus,
the Italian navigator, over the course of his travels.
events such as Friday's might spark him to look beyond the paragraphs
taught in history.
it makes him want to look beyond stereotypes.
lot of people look down on the Natives," the sophomore says. "But
people don't really look at them. They see what they think they
see and stereotype."
Rekstad teaches the Native American Connection class at Washington.
no school Monday, students are encouraged to take part in Native
American Day activities, such as the event that begins with story
telling at 9:30 a.m. at the Multi-Cultural Center and concludes
with a wacipi, or pow wow, at 2 p.m.
4 percent of Washington's student body is Native American, Rekstad
says. Currently, that is 82 students.
reporter Jill Callison at 331-2307.