Protests in Pierre, Rapid City over removal of Native history from state education standards

C.J. Keene, KOTASeptember 13, 2021News

PIERRE, SD – Activists with NDN Collective will march in Pierre today (Mon., Sept. 13) , in protest of newly proposed education standards they describe as promoting erasure of native culture.

Amy Sazue, education equity organizer with the group, says it’s an issue both parents and students are concerned about.

Photo American Indian Magazine

“We know we will have youth there.  We have schools sending groups of children.  We’re excited to help youth learn about advocacy. And how to engage in civic discussions that impact them.” said Sazue.

Coinciding with this, members of the Rapid City Central High School Lakota Empowerment Club have organized a student walkout this afternoon.

Sophomore organizer Dejarae (Day-Ja-Rae) Little Bull said the proposed standards could have a significant impact on young students.

“This is an erasure of native history.  If these are removed, the kids won’t learn them.  This is much bigger than just a school board issue,” said Djarae.

Little Bull, junior organizer Adrianna Young, and the rest of the group had a unanimous response when asked if they felt listened to at school.

“In general, people are not aware.”

NDN Collective is on the record in support of, but not organizing, the student protest.