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The King Center Weighs In On SD Honor Song Dispute

April 2, 2014, 7:42 AM

The King Center Weighs In On SD Honor Song Dispute
CHAMBERLAIN, SD -

An organization started by the widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is supporting a years-long effort to include a traditional Lakota honor song in the high school graduation ceremony in Chamberlain.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta recently sent a letter to the Chamberlain School Board in support of an honor song. It was signed by King's daughter Bernice King.

More than one-third of the Chamberlain School District's 900 students are American Indian. Supporters of an honor song have been lobbying for five years.

School board members say a feathering ceremony the night before graduation honors tribal students and that the commencement exercise should be about recognizing academic achievements rather than cultural ties.

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