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Supportive community honors American Indian Education annual senior honoring ceremony

Student recognized at annual American Indian Education senior honoring banquet(05/15/2024) 

With a welcoming drum introduction to an impactful closing pipe ceremony, American Indian Education students from throughout Anoka-Hennepin were honored in a special event held May 13 at the Educational Service Center in Anoka. 

While culture and tradition were on full display, the event motivated students to focus on their future. Seniors were presented with a custom print called  "Oh the places we've been, oh the places you'll go" created specifically for the class of 2024 by Chelsea Smith, an Anishinaabe culture artist from the Bois Forte band of Chippewa based in Minneapolis. 

The class of 2024 includes 76 graduates involved in the American Indian Education program. 

The evening began with a performance by the Little Earth Singers Drum Group and a welcome from program coordinator Mindy Meyers, Waapishki Kiisis Ikwe. American Indian Education Parent Committee chair Kimberly Benjamin shared a supportive message with families.  Kaagegaabaw, James Vukelich provided an opening blessing, delivered the keynote address and led the pipe ceremony. 

View photos from this year’s American Indian Education senior honoring banquet

Seniors were recognized by American Indian Education advisors from their high schools before the community shook their hands during the honor song. The evening ended with a community pipe ceremony and traveling song. Anoka-Hennepin Schools American Indian Education program supports students at district high schools, including Sandburg Regional, Technical, Pathways, Bridges, Compass, and River Trail Learning Center at L.O. Jacob. Seniors from all sites are honored at this event. 

The American Indian Education Program encourages and inspires academic achievement, social and emotional development, and cultural awareness of American Indian students, while also promoting cultural diversity between community, staff and students.

Learn more about the program online at