Three First Nations leaders were speaking out Friday about a community rift in thetown of Leask, north of Saskatoon.
For the past five years, Grade 12 students at Leask Community School have held a joint graduation ceremony with older, mostly aboriginal students from an alternative program called the Storefront.
The year, the Grade 12s organized a separate graduation ceremony for themselves, a change that has some of the Storefront students saying they've been excluded.
A few students said they think racism is behind the change, although some of the students in the regular program strongly denied the accusation.
On Friday, the chiefs from Muskeg Lake and Mistawasis First Nations, and Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Lawrence Joseph entered the discussion.
Joseph said it's disappointing after local First Nations have supported Leask businesses for so many years.
"I think it's a very sad day when we have parents teaching their children to be separate from those that are of different background," he said.
Mistawasis Chief Daryl Watson said the achievement of the Storefront students should not be met with intolerance.
Watson said Mistawasis is holding a celebration for all the grads on Saturday and he has issued an open invitation for anyone to attend.