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Oglala Sioux Senior Plans School Powwow

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Not only did high school senior Ashlen Delgado complete her final project at Johnson Senior High School in Saint Paul, Minnesota, she was awarded $2,500 to fund it.

According to, the high school requires seniors to complete a project for their Finale Class to graduate. Delgado decided to organize a powwow to share her culture.

“I want to educate the community and let them know that there’s Natives at Johnson because our Indian Ed is pretty small. It’s to let them know we’re here,” Delgado told The Circle.

She said she got the idea from going to powwows around Saint Paul and because the population of Native students at her school is small.

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The 18-year-old Oglala Sioux member worked with Travis DeCory, a Rosebud Lakota chemical dependency prevention coordinator for the Ain Dah Yung Center, to write the grant to the Tiwahe Foundation/American Indian Family Empowerment Program (AIFEP) in August 2010 asking for $1,600. In October 2010, they were awarded $2,500.

Mary Voigt, Delgado’s finale teacher, is proud of her.

“Her American Indian ancestry is so important to her and she was so passionate when she talked about her powwow. It was really hard not to be excited for her,” Voigt told The Circle. “Success always breeds more success, so I think it could be a source of inspiration for her in her future.”

The Johnson High School Education First Pow Wow will be held April 15 at Johnson High School, 1349 Arcadia St., Saint Paul, Minnesota, from 5 to 9 p.m. General admission is $2, youth under 8 and elders are free; a feast will be held at 5 p.m. and the grand entry will take place at 6 p.m.

For more information visit the event’s Facebook page by searching “Johnson High School Education First Pow Wow.”