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Parade honors Rapid City's largest class of Native American graduates
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Parade honors Native American graduates

Parade honors Rapid City's largest class of Native American graduates

Indian Education Parade

The Title VI Indian Education Senior Class of 2020 stands proud along Mt. Rushmore Road in Rapid City Friday evening as friends and family honored them with a parade filled with horn honks and yells. Many students donned star quilts given to them by family.

In place of feathers and plumes, Native American seniors in Rapid City were honored Friday with car horns, homemade signs and a socially distanced parade.

Each year, the Rapid City Area Schools district honors Native graduates with a Feathering Ceremony. This year's ceremony was cancelled weeks ago due to concern for the potential spread of COVID-19. Local spiritual leaders suggested families perform the ceremony privately at home to maintain social distancing.

In place of the ceremony, district students and families got extra creative this year with social distancing measures in effect.

The parade, celebrating the largest graduating class of Native students with 118 seniors throughout the district, kicked off Friday night at Central High School. Cars of teachers, families, educators and friends of the students went through nearby streets with a police escort so the students could be recognized.

"We are proud of these seniors and honored to be able to showcase them and their accolades," said Katy Urban, community relations manager for RCAS.

Parade participants were welcome to decorate their cars with their seniors' names, schools, congratulatory messages and more. Title VI seniors were invited to wear their caps and gowns to the event.

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