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OK lawmakers override governors’ veto of invoice permitting college students to put on Native American regalia at commencement

The Oklahoma Legislature on Thursday overrode Gov. Kevin Stitt’s veto of a invoice that might enable college students to put on Native American regalia throughout highschool and school graduations.

The state Home and Senate simply cleared the two-thirds threshold wanted to uphold the measure, which takes impact July 1 and had robust help from many Oklahoma-based tribes and Native Americans.

It might enable any scholar at a public college, together with schools, universities and expertise facilities, to put on tribal regalia similar to conventional clothes, jewellery or different adornments throughout official commencement ceremonies. Weapons similar to a bow and arrow, tomahawk or struggle hammer are particularly prohibited.

Stitt, a Cherokee Nation citizen who has feuded with many Oklahoma-based Native American tribes all through his two phrases in workplace, vetoed the invoice earlier this month, saying on the time that the choice needs to be as much as particular person districts.


“In different phrases, if colleges need to enable their college students to put on tribal regalia at commencement, good on them,” Stitt wrote in his veto message. “But when colleges favor for his or her college students to put on solely conventional cap and robe, the Legislature should not stand of their means.”

Stitt additionally steered the invoice would enable different teams to “demand particular favor to put on no matter they please at a proper ceremony.”

Lawmakers additionally overrode vetoes of a number of different measures, together with one including consultants on Native American well being to a wellness council and one other permitting for the existence of the Oklahoma Instructional Tv Authority, the state’s Public Broadcasting Service affiliate.


Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. thanked the Legislature on Thursday.

“I hope Governor Stitt hears the message that his blanket hostility to tribes is a lifeless finish,” Hoskin stated in a press release. “Nearly all of Oklahomans consider in respecting the rights of Native People and dealing along with the sovereign tribes who share this land.”

Kamryn Yanchick, a citizen of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, was denied the chance to put on a adorned cap with a beaded sample when she graduated from her highschool in 2018.

With the ability to “unapologetically specific your self and take delight in your tradition at a celebration with out having to ask a non-Native particular person for permission to take action is absolutely important,” stated Yanchick, who’s now a Native American coverage advocate.

A Native American former scholar sued Damaged Arrow Public Colleges and two workers earlier this month after she was pressured to take away an eagle feather from her commencement cap previous to her highschool graduation ceremony.

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