Crow Agency Public Schools wrapped up its student elections on Nov. 4.
Fifth graders were given the opportunity to run for office, campaigning and making speeches in an effort to win over their fellow students in the third, fourth, and fifth grade classes.
The student government is somewhat unique, in that it models the Crow Tribe’s government; instead of electing a President, students vote on a Chairman. Fifth grad ers are taught about the tribal government in school in accordance with Indian Education for All.
The school’s election happens in the same month as the country and tribe’s elections are held, which coincidentally is the same month as the National Native American Heritage Month.
“This process gives us an opportunity to explain sovereignty and the tribal government.” said Connie Michael, one of the two fifth grade teachers at CAPS. Kordell Cummins, the other fifth grade teacher, echoed the sentiment.
A student who wishes to run for office must be a fifth grade student, and exhibit the qualities of respect, Responsibility, and willingness to learn, in accordance with school guidelines. Students must also maintain good behavior, meaning no write-ups and being a positive role model to their fellow classmates, and finally students must have good attendance, and cannot miss any campaigning days.
Initially, 17 students applied to run, with seven wanting to hold the position of Chairman. By the time the primary came around on the second of November, eleven students were running. The primary further narrowed it down to nine students.
One particularly exciting detail of this year’s election was the diversity of tribes represented in the council this year. Of the nine students on the council, t he Northern Arapaho, Northern Cheyenne, the Hidatsa and the Crow tribes are represented.
On the final day of the race, candidates were required to make a speech to the student body.
The winners include Autumn Plenty Hoops, c hairwoman; Audreena Don’t Mix, v ice- c hairwoman; Halle Two Moons, s ecretary; Aubrey Bad Bear, vice-s ecretary; and c ouncil members, Charly White Clay, Karlene Big Hair, Caidence Gone, Mason KnowsGun, and Suzanna Wilson.