Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

St. Paul's American Indian Magnet School hosts many cultures

Most students at the East Side school are non-Native


October 11, 2022

David Joles, Star Tribune

American Indian Magnet School teacher Thomas Draskovic, center, shares a light moment with seventh-grader Davion Williams, right, during practice with the St. Paul school's drum group, "Many Nations of People" on Oct. 5.

It was near the end of the school day, and in a classroom with a tribal nation's flag hanging in a corner, the drummers were pounding - a group of nine fifth-graders and teacher Thomas Draskovic.

Darwin Villeda, 10, had his eyes locked on three kids seated across from him, sensing his moment, and he took it. He raised his stick higher and sent it crashing down, helping propel the song to its finish while singing the Lakota lyrics.

A Spanish speaker at home, Darwin was asked later if he understood the words. He replied: "I've been drumming since first grade. I know all the songs."


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