Thursday, June 20, 2024 – South Dakota faces criticism for stereotypes, disparities, and disrespect

The superintendent of schools for Rapid City, S.D. just issued an apology after a federal investigation found “persistent and statistically significant disparities” when it comes to Native American students. The report specifically cited the superintendent saying tribes don’t value education and complaining about Native students running on “Indian time”.  The report comes after a series of incidents drawing the ire of tribes, including a requirement by the Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) Administration that state employees remove their tribal affiliations from email signatures. Is South Dakota peculiar or are they driving a trend?


Dr. Valeriah Big Eagle (Ihanktonwan Dakota), former co-chair of Rapid City Area Schools Indigenous Task Force

Sarah White (Oglala Lakota), founder and executive director of South Dakota Education Equity Coalition (SDEEC) and former Title VI Indian Education Manager for Rapid Area Schools

Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education