RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Western Dakota Tech hosted an Eagle Feather Ceremony to honor the college's Native American graduates on May 10. Students who wished to participate received blessed eagle feathers and plumes during the ceremony, which took place in the college's Event Center.
Rev. Dr. Gerald Yellowhawk, artist, author, spiritual leader, ordained minister, delivered the invocation and blessing for the graduates. Daniel Butcher, Director of the Piya-Wo'ecin Oti (New Hope/New Beginnings) homeless shelter on the Cheyenne River Reservation, was the guest speaker. Whitney Rencountre II, Rapid City's Ateyapi Program Director, speaker, singer, and performer, introduced the honoring ceremony and provided encouragement and reflection.
Carolyn LaRoche, Western Dakota Tech Eagle Feather Society Club President, announced special presentations. Ann Bolman, Ed.D., Western Dakota Tech President, welcomed everyone to the special event. Northsiderz drum group provided the Grand Entry song and Honor Song.
"We congratulate our graduates on their achievements," said Jennie Best, Western Dakota Tech's Eagle Feather Society Club Coordinator and Student Success Coach. "For our Native American students, it is an honor to receive an eagle feather or plume during a special ceremony such as this one for graduation. It signifies someone has done something outstanding for themselves, their family, and/or community."
The honored graduates, their programs, and hometowns are as follows:
- Alana Brown Bull, Health Information Management, Kyle
- Maynard Bull, Jr., Business and Technology, Lead
- Amanda Clifford, Medical Lab Technician, Rapid City
- Nichole Fast Horse, Business & Technology, Rapid City
- Cameron Moser-Asbjeld, Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement Emphasis, Rapid City
- Hunter Oliver, Computer-Aided Drafting, Rapid City
- Halana Quick Bear, Phlebotomy/Laboratory Assistant, Rapid City
- Angela Ware, Practical Nursing, Rapid City
- Cecelia White Eagle, Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement Emphasis, Rapid City