AFSCME Council 5 Condemns Ban on American Indian Drum Group

AFSCME Council 5


Media Contact:
Max Hall
Director, External Relations and Planning
Cell: (612) 247-3725
[email protected]

AFSCME Council 5 Condemns Ban on American Indian Drum Group

SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minnesota– AFSCME Council 5 Executive Director Bart Andersen released the following statement - 

"AFSCME Council 5, representing over 43,000 dedicated union workers, unequivocally condemns the Hinckley-Finlayson School Board's heartless decision to ban the native cultural drum group from performing at their high school graduation ceremony. The district's claim that the drum group is merely an 'extracurricular group' is a blatant dismissal of the rich cultural heritage and the vital presence of American Indian communities. This decision seeks to erase the history and traditions that should be celebrated and respected by all. We are in solidarity with students and community members and join together to demand a reversal of this decision. 

"Our union stands in unwavering solidarity and deep love with our American Indian friends, coworkers, and neighbors We are appalled by the actions and remarks of the Hinckley-Finlayson School District, which undermine the visibility and importance of American Indian cultural practices, traditions, and heritage. We believe that every culture deserves to be honored, heard, and cherished for its unique heritage and traditions. We are all better when we embrace our cultural differences and come together to learn... that is what schools are all about, which is why these actions and words are disturbing and antithetical to our shared values. 

"We extend our heartfelt support to the students, community members, and alumni of the Hinckley-Finlayson School District who are courageously fighting to overturn this decision. AFSCME Council 5 joins them and our community allies in demanding that the school district reverse its decision immediately. Together, we will fight to ensure that American Indian traditions are proudly shared with the community at the upcoming high school graduation ceremony."

AFSCME Council 5 is a labor union representing more than 43,000 workers across Minnesota who fight for excellence in services to the public, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for all workers.