Sisseton to Start Replacing Redmen Homecoming Traditions

Item #6 of new business on the Sisseton School Board agenda Monday night was “Motion to modify/change homecoming for SY 2017-2018.” Sisseton correspondent Sierra Smiley Wolcott reports on Facebook that the board decided to spend this school year coming up with new homecoming traditions to replace the racist “Redmen” cultural misappropriations around which past homecoming activities have revolved. This decision comes just three months after the board narrowly affirmed its culture-pilfering homecoming practices and less than two months after the last board election brought Sisseston-Wahpeton Oyate tribal member Debra Flute onto the board.

Wolcott says the board directed new superintendent Dr. M. Neil Terhune to “make changes” to this year’s homecoming events “such as no more medicine man.”

Indian rights activist and former Tiospa Zina Tribal School teacher Sarah Sunshine Manning sees the Sisseton board’s decision as one more small step toward progress against racism:

Awesome. And just think, with each presentation of facts and studies, some of the most stubborn of attitudes are being chipped away at, little by little. They may not seem to acknowledge the facts right away, as many just have too much pride, and a lot of fear. Bottom line is that bigotry within the school system in the form of outdated traditions and racial mascots are just not justifiable, in any way shape or form. Any rational or intelligent person, especially in the field of education that actually looks at the research responsibly or takes a moment to listen to the youth who are negatively impacted cannot deny this. The more they deny the harm, the more they try to justify the unjustifiable, the more they draw negative attention to themselves as defenders of bigotry. Meanwhile, the majority of the world has taken progressive steps forward. Glad they now have the leadership to at least take a baby step. Baby steps are still steps, nonetheless [Sarah Sunshine Manning, Facebook comment, 2016.08.08].

Keep stepping in the right direction, Sisseton. And Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, tribal parents and students, and all who love justice, keep helping those steps along.


5 Responses to Sisseton to Start Replacing Redmen Homecoming Traditions

  1. as you can see racism in SD is starting to come around and I predict the red state of SD’s GOP is also not long for this world in the big scheme of the nation. 800,000,000 residents can be wrong:)

  2. Don Coyote

    Hmmm, 800M residents? I didn’t realize the Sioux Falls/I29 Corridor was growing quite that fast.

  3. We have imposed our beliefs and religion on native Americans, arrested them, even killed them for disobeying. We have taken things from them that dishonor their beliefs, this is a progressively long first step, but at least it’s a step forward.

  4. sorry to confuse you coyote. typing, I recall thinking “well, about 10% of the state are Indian people so that’s really only 740,000 or so.” And the Red Skins are pround to claim all the time that the sports team’s name honors the 500 nations (millions of original residents I am told) that we stole from, all their land, resources and freedom.

    thx for the clarification though typist, I ain’t. I paid a secretary for 30 years. (job creator) wuff wuff