My Two Beads Worth

My Two Beads Worth is an online, American Indian/Indigenous news ezine that has been online since 2000. Due to illness, I have found it a little easier to use a blog than to create a webpage due to my inability to keep long hours. So, for the time being, I will be using the blog and later on, all the information will be transferred to the website. Thank you for your understanding.

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Location: Hiram, Maine, United States

I am 55 years old and have been married for 31 years. We have one son, Michael who is 24 - 3 dogs, our two little Pomeranians, Frankie and Tommy and our old lovable Beagle, Buddy. We live in a very rural area on a small mountain in the foothills of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I am physically disabled due to several health issues and so I created My Two Beads Worth so I can remain active and involved in native issues. It is strictly non-profit, I do all the work myself and cover all expenses involved in getting the publication out online. I also have my own personal website which I enjoy working on too - when I have time, which there isn't much of that left over. I love life and want to live it as fully as I possibly can.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Students protest decision to allow Indian seniors to wear regalia

Students protest decision to allow Indian seniors to wear regalia

May 19, 2006, 2:25 PM EDT LAFAYETTE, N.Y. -- About 50 students quietly protested outside their school Friday, upset with a decision to allow six seniors to wear their traditional Onondaga Indian regalia to graduation next month. "I have the utmost respect for Native Americans, but I think it's very disrespectful for them to come to our graduation in their regalia," said senior Dan Dwyer, one of the protest organizers.

"Graduation is supposed to unify people. They are just breaking people apart." Protesters accused Lafayette School District officials of acting hastily in making their decision. Superintendent Mark Mondanaro said Wednesday that the six Onondaga Indian seniors could wear their native regalia to graduation on June 25, providing it's approved by the school's Native American counselor. He and other administrators met May 12 for two hours with students and parents to discuss the Onondaga seniors' request, which they made about three weeks ago. The high school has about 500 students in grades 7 through 12, about a quarter of them are American Indians, including nine of the 54 students in the senior class.

Mondanaro said fewer than 10 seniors were among Friday's protesters. The rest were underclassmen, he said. Administrators listened to their views and outlined the process and rationale for the decision, Mondanaro said. "A lot of these kids didn't understand the process, and how the decision was made," he said. "We heard a lot of viewpoints." Marcia Lyons, one of the Onondaga seniors, said graduation is an important occasion but that wearing a cap and gown isn't an American Indian tradition. "We want to show our pride in our cultural heritage by wearing our regalia," said Lyons, who will wear a short-sleeved, below-the-knee light brown dress with a maroon floral pattern. She will wear a longer maroon skirt under the dress, along with cloth leggings, moccasins and two white leather hair extensions. The other five students, all males, will wear ribbon shirts with breechcloths, leggings, moccasins and headdresses. In 2003, district officials met mild opposition when they decided to fly the Onondaga flag outside the high school, located 10 miles south of Syracuse. Most opponents, however, were concerned about whether it was proper etiquette to fly the Onondaga's flag next to the U.S. flag.

Information from: The Syracuse Post-Standard,
Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.,0,6046735,print.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork


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