Native community hosts 5th annual graduation powwow

Published: May. 21, 2022 at 5:20 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Some members of the Native American community came together Saturday for their fifth annual graduation powwow.

The event was put on by the organizations American Indian Education and the Native American Parent Association.

This year, six Native American students are graduating from Rochester Public Schools. To celebrate the seniors, tribal members gathered at the Mayo High School gym to play traditional Native American songs for other members to dance to.

The powwow also featured vendors selling beadwork, Native American art and food.

Group organizers say the graduation powwow is a way to honor the students who have dealt with many pandemic challenges.

Just a reminder that these past couple years have been really hard with COVID and that we can still come together as a tribe and to get together and hold these events and honor the students that made it through and just kind of make our hearts happy with our dances and songs,” American Indian Education c o-chair Amelia Cordell said.

The Minnesota Department of Education reports that the graduation rate for American Indian/Alaskan Native students was 50.8 percent in 2019. In 2020 the graduation rate was 55.7 percent.

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