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A drum and dance competition is a big part of the Native American Week

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In 2006, White Earth Tribal Chairman Erma Vizenor opened the ceremonies by explaining that “the drum is very much a part of us. It is the heartbeat of our people. It calls ancestors and us together as one heartbeat.”

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Detroit Lakes High School will be celebrating the annual Native American Week next week, March 25-29. There is no school on Monday.

Featured speaker for the event this year is 1972 Olympic silver medalist Henry Boucha. He played for the USA hockey team.

Boucha, who is a full-blooded Ojibwa, is one of six medaled Native American Olympic athletes. He grew up in Warroad and led the high school team there to the 1969 state tournament, where he was injured during a 5-4 overtime loss to Edina.

He is considered to be one of the best players to ever play Minnesota high school hockey.

While serving with the U.S. Army, he joined the National Ice Hockey Team. He participated in the 1971 Ice Hockey World Championships in Bern, Switzerland, where he scored seven goals in 10 games for Team USA.

Boucha was also one of the biggest stars of the 1972 United States Olympic hockey team and helped the team win a silver medal.

He was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings and was voted Rookie of the Year for the 1972-1973 season.

The Red Wings sent him to the Minnesota North Stars in exchange for Danny Grant in 1974.

Boucha was having a good year in his home state when he was involved in a stick incident with Dave Forbes of the Boston Bruins in 1975, which left him with a cracked bone around his eye and blurred vision.

The high-profile incident resulted in a court case as the State of Minnesota attempted to charge the Boston player with assault.

The injury effectively ended his career. Boucha was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995.

Boucha penned the book “Henry Boucha, Ojibwa, Native American Olympian” about the triumphs and tragedies that shaped his life as an athlete and an individual.

Not only will Boucha be speaking to students, he will also be holding a public book signing in The Depot on Thursday.

Schedule of events

Tuesday: 5:30-7 p.m. is the opening ceremony and potluck at the M-State College

Grades K-5 Young Artist Awards located in Conference Room C-101. Enter through the southwest doors.

During school hours, Mrs. Ask and middle school students will be reading to kindergarteners.

Wednesday: Tom Mason and COL students will present a snow snake demonstration at the elementary school.

Thursday: 10 a.m., Henry Boucha, 1972 Olympic silver medalist with the USA hockey team will be speaking at the high school.

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Boucha will have a book signing at The Depot, which is open to the public

Friday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: DL Quiz Bowl at M State College. Enter through southwest doors.

11:30 a.m.: Grades 6-8 and 9-12, Young Artist Awards.

Saturday: Noon-9 p.m.: Detroit Lakes pre-kindergarten-12th grade Drum and Dance Competition in the Middle School.      Grand Entry begins at noon. Concessions and some vendors available. Open to the public.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.

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