Billy Mills attends honoring ceremony at South Dakota Mines
By Joseph Budd
Native Sun News Today Staff Writer
In a nice sized ceremony at the Surbeck Center’s ballroom, an Honoring Ceremony took place Friday, to recognize five Native American students, who will graduate and start the next chapter of their lives.
With friend’s family and staff present, the event featured an honor guard, a drum group, and an invocation by Dr. Gerald Yellow Hawk. Jesse Herrera, the Director of Inclusion would share some details, given the program had started back in 2008, and so far 80 students have graduated from the School of Mines, to pursue multiple career fields, here and around the world.
Speakers included President James Rankin of the School, and Keynote speaker Lance Hanson, a Mechanical Engineer, from the Oglala Sioux Tribe, also spoke to the graduates, offering words to look forward to, mentioned to follow your passion, don’t go with the flow.
As a treat, the event was also attended by Pat and Billy Mills, and Artist Whitney Rencountre II.
The students, as listed, were Seth Bendigo, from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. He achieved a Bachelors’ in Physics.
Next up is Justin Davis, from the Oglala Sioux Tribe, with a Bachelor of Science, in Mechanical Engineering.
Laramie Colvin, from the Oglala Sioux Tribe, achieved a Masters in Atmosphereic and Environmental Sciences, while Beau White, from Oglala Sioux Tribe would earn a Master’s in Engineering Management.
McCoy Bila, would also pick up his Mechanical Engineering degree.
After an Honoring song from Jerin Two Crow, the ceremony involved a Blessing of the Feathers, plus a Smudging done by Dr, Yellow Hawk. After the Graduates were adorned with their ceremonial blankets, a receiving line was done, for those in attendance would pass through showing thanks. After the retiring of flags and a meal, the graduates took their place to add their hand prints to the Tipi. An interesting item, was Laramie Colvin, actually already had a handprint on the tipi, from her previous year in 2021. To make a match set, she inverted the colors, and used her opposite hand.