Chamberlain School Board Votes Against Honor Song

Chamberlain High School Building (Photo from CSD Website)


CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. (AP) – The Chamberlain School Board has again rejected a request to include a traditional Lakota honor song in the high school graduation ceremony.

The Daily Republic reports the board voted 4-2 against the song Monday night. One board member abstained.

The controversy first arose last spring, when the school board rejected a request for the honor song. Board members said a feathering ceremony the night before graduation honors tribal students and that commencement should be about recognizing academic achievements rather than cultural ties.

More than one-third of the Chamberlain School District’s 900 students are American Indian.

Board president Rebecca Reimer voted against the song and said the discussion was about “control and power.”

Board member Marcel Felicia voted for the song and says people have told him they support it.

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  1. david obago Reply

    In support for the honor song at Chamberlain Schools, we bring in many dollars to the system and the Sch. Bd. is still blind to what is fair and equal. When will the Bd. come into the new century? I thought apartheid was eradicated by whites and blacks,but apparently not in Brule County,SD

  2. Kim Borge Reply

    I think this is ridiculous! The board members are paranoid. First, they suspected that the honor song would only honor the Native American students when in fact it would honor EVERYONE graduating. Second, if they didn’t know the English translation of the song and were worried about the lyrics, they sure didn’t go very far in finding out (if at all). Don’t you know where you are?! SOUTH DAKOTA! Native American culture is everywhere, and should be respected, honored and appreciated by everyone. I’m white, and I’m deeply offended by the board’s actions.