I've moved this discussion from the thread entitled "White Appropriation of FN Cultural Symbols and Idiom" in the Indigenous Forum, because I think the tangent was more suitable for here.
This is the most recent exchange between Magoo and myself(I've edited my reply a bit for clarity)...
I think the reason something like this is contentious -- and perhaps called "tokenism" -- is that it's a speech without any specific plan of action. I can see how some might feel exactly like they did 40 years ago, having to stand and recite the Lord's Prayers as a prerequisite to being allowed to learn about fractions. Why?
Well, a closer parallel(given your critique) might be the Lord's Prayer recited by a group of people who otherwise have little interest in religious observance, and are just doing it because they know it's a way to look good to certain sections of public opinion.
Because it seems to me there are two objections to such compulsory recitals...
1. It's an infringements on the rights of people who don't want to say the words.
2. It's a useless and superficial display of adherence to certain values.
I think your criticism, in the above post, is closer to No 2. than to No. 1. Back to your classroom example, if the overwhelming majority of students in the class were seriously devout and observant Christians who thought the Lord's Prayer was an indispensable part of the school day(as opposed to milquetoasts and non-believers just doing it because some politicians rammed a bill through the legislature before an election), it would answer the question "Why?".
You can read the rest of the background to this discussion here...