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South High students walk out to protest lack of Native cultural activities



By Sheila Regan

Contributing Writer


The smell of burning sage filled the commons area of South High School on Monday morning, March 11, as what was planned as a student walk-out was turned into a school-sanctioned assembly — and then ended up being a walkout anyway. Students from the All Nations Program, which offers American Indian-specific programming at the school, were protesting the lack of visibility of the program, as well as a lack of cultural activities. They said activities such as drumming and “smudging,” a cleansing act using burning sage, were once regular parts of the program but have been discontinued. Senior Winona Vizenor organized the walkout, but called it off after speaking with Principal Cecilia Saddler, who allowed the students to have a round dance in the main commons area as well as an assembly in the auditorium. Toward the end of the assembly, after getting text messages from people saying they weren’t being let out of their classes, Vizenor went forward with the walkout anyway. Continue Reading →

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