American Indian healing pole raised at St. Paul Public Schools HQ to mark Indigenous Peoples’ Day

American Indian healing pole raised at St. Paul Public Schools HQ to mark Indigenous Peoples’ Day

  • American Indian healing pole raised at St. Paul Public Schools HQ to mark Indigenous Peoples’ Day

    Pam Gokey of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa ties the colors of the north onto the pole, as representatives from St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) administration, faculty and staff, students, and the Indigenous community raise a healing pole in a ceremony at the SPPS headquarters in St. Paul, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. Looking on is SPPS representative John Bobolink. (Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press)

  • Participants wave smoke towards themselves during a short smudging ceremony, as representatives from St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) administration, faculty and staff, students, and the Indigenous community raise a healing pole in at the SPPS headquarters in St. Paul, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. (Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press)

  • Spiritual leader and elder Jerry Dearly of Pine Ridge, S.D. holds an eagle feather and says a prayer to the elements of life in all four cardinal directions, as representatives from St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) administration, faculty and staff, students, and the Indigenous community raise a healing pole in a ceremony at the SPPS headquarters in St. Paul, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. (Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press)

  • Representatives from St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) administration, faculty and staff, students, and the Indigenous community raise a healing pole in a ceremony at the SPPS headquarters in St. Paul, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. Superintendent Joe Gothard, wearing an orange tie, is among those holding the pole in place. (Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press)

  • Participants dance around the newly erected pole as representatives from St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) administration, faculty and staff, students, and the Indigenous community raise a healing pole in a ceremony at the SPPS headquarters in St. Paul, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. (Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press)

  • Representatives from St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) administration, faculty and staff, students, and the Indigenous community raise a healing pole in a ceremony at the SPPS headquarters in St. Paul, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. (Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press)

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As part of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, St. Paul Public Schools and members of the American Indian community raised a new healing pole in a ceremony Monday at the district’s administration building in St. Paul.

Part of American Indian culture, the raising of the pole has different meanings to different people. Placed on equal footing with the district’s American flag and peace pole, the healing pole will serve as a lasting symbol of American Indian culture and an important part of our community’s identity.

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