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    ‘This is our moment;’ St. Stephens 2024 graduation

    (St. Stephens, WY) – St. Stephens Indian School graduated 13 students on Friday, May 24, in front of a packed gymnasium full of family and friends.

    After the opening processional, the ceremony continued with an opening prayer conducted by Gerald (Jerry) Redman Sr., followed by words from the evening’s student speakers, Valedictorian Blue Moccasins Soldier Wolf and Co-Salutatorians Georgetta Moss and Zion Sioux.

    Soldier Wolf was the first to speak, and told her fellow graduates that “the challenges we have faced may have tested our resolve, yet here we are, stronger and more resilient than ever.”

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    “Let us be courageous in the face of adversity, compassionate with others, and steadfast in the pursuit of our dreams,” Soldier Wolf continued. “This is our moment, let us embrace it.”

    Sioux, who also served as student council vice-president, took the stage after Soldier Wolf, and immediately endeared the crowd with a quick joke and gregarious enthusiasm.

    Sioux cited some of his favorite memories of school, namely travelling across Wyoming for sports.

    Sioux attributed his successes to his single parent mother, whom Sioux said played “the roles of both parents,” before giving a shout-out to all of the moms out there who do the same.

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    Moss soon closed out for the student speakers, and reminded her fellow graduates that “all of the work they have put in” will assist them as they “go on to the next chapter” in their lives.

    Moss thanked her family, friends and fellow graduates for “pushing her to be better,” and for telling her to “keep going” when “life got tough.”

    Michael Redman, the community speaker was then asked to address the crowd, after he was recognized for all of the work he does to proliferate indigenous culture at St. Stephens.

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    Redman told graduates that they have proved they are “capable of overcoming any obstacle,” and cited the importance of family and community.

    “On this new journey, I have no doubt that you will make us all proud,” Redman later concluded.

    Redman then presented the graduates with their honorary feathers as the Eagle Drum St. Stephens Drum Group performed an honor song.

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    Attendees were then treated to a speech and musical performance from St. Stephens graduate and nationally recognized performer Abraham Thomas, who was born and raised on the Wind River Reservation.

    Thomas shared his own tale of triumphing over adversity and setbacks, after he revealed that the car he was travelling in broke down near Evanston the night before the graduation.

    Thomas said that unfortunately, there was no option for a rental car, so after a little prayer, he improvised and used the next best thing, a U-Haul truck, which led to cheers and laughter from the crowd.

    After sharing more inspiring words, Thomas then performed “You Raise Me Up.”

    Thomas’ rendition of the song wasn’t the only musical performance of the night either, with Arianna Friday and Aquinnah Ridgley-Flagg soon singing the Native folk song “Go My Son” by Arlene Nofchissey Williams and Carnes Burson, complete with guitar accompaniment from Benjamin and Eugene Ridgley.


    After a few more recognitions, it was officially time for the graduates to receive their diplomas.

    The class of 2024 included: Blue Moccasins Soldier Wolf (Valedictorian), Georgetta Moss (Co-Salutatorian), Zion Sioux (Co-Salutatorian), Leland Fighting Bear, Steven Harris, Lawrence Jenkins, Stephon Lonedog, Cadyn Lonedog, Angelea Ridgley-Flagg, Destiny Sage, Alfred Shakespeare, Wyatt SunRhodes and Donnie Watt.


    Congratulations, St. Stephens class of 2024!

    The turning of the tassels. h/t Vince Tropea, County 10
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