Wisconsin high school cancels homecoming events after video shows students mocking Native American dance
CLINTONVILLE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A high school in Wisconsin is apologizing after video of students performing a Native American-style skit was posted online.
WLUK reports the skit performed at Clintonville High School has drawn criticism from local Native American tribes.
Clintonville High School canceled homecoming events scheduled for Friday, October 4th and released the following statement:
"The Clintonville Public School District is aware of and apologizes for a very unfortunate event that occurred on October 3rd, at Clintonville High School. During a lunchtime homecoming dance off, Non-American Indian students wrongfully created a disrespectful mockery of American Indian culture by imitating and misrepresenting an American Indian dance. The specific dance was not school approved nor sanctioned by the school or any District employee. Immediate initial action steps have been taken, including the cancellation of all Friday homecoming events. Clintonville Public School District does not support, nor do we condone any behavior that would affect or offend any culture, race, color, religion, sex, nationality or origin. Clintonville Public School District would like to thank local tribes and tribal members who have already reached out to the district and offered cultural education and support. We will seek additional input and put together a long term plan to repair the harm and use this incident to reflect upon, learn, embrace, and to better understand and celebrate the diversity of all, including the Tribal Nations of Wisconsin. Please know, we strive to create an environment of diversity and inclusion. This will continue to be a top priority within the District."
The Oneida Nation criticized the dance, sharing a message on Facebook that reads in part:
"We are insulted and disappointed that the Clintonville School District, staff and students and the community have depicted Native Americans in this disrespectful display of a pep rally," the Oneida Nation said in a statement. "To have these symbols and depictions of this cultural history used in inappropriate ways and without an understanding of the cultural significance and history behind them is a practice that must stop."