Oklahoma legislature overrides governor’s veto on tribal regalia bill

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma lawmakers on Thursday overturned Gov. Kevin Stitt’s veto on a bill that would allow students to wear Native American insignia on high school and college graduations.

The House of Representatives and State Senate easily achieved the two-thirds majority needed to uphold the measure. It goes into effect on July 1 and has received strong support from many Oklahoma-based tribes and Native American citizens.

It would allow any public school student, including colleges, universities, and technology centers, to wear tribal regalia such as traditional clothing, jewelry, or other adornments at official graduation ceremonies. Weapons such as a bow and arrow, tomahawk or war hammer are expressly prohibited.

Stitt, a Citizen of the Cherokee Nation who has at enmity with many Oklahoma native tribes during his two terms in office vetoed the bill Earlier this month, he said at the time that the decision should be left to individual counties.

“In other words, if schools want to allow their students to wear tribal regalia when they graduate, that’s good for them,” Stitt wrote in his book veto message. “But if schools prefer their students to wear only traditional caps and robes, then lawmakers shouldn’t stand in their way.”

Stitt also suggested that the bill would allow other groups to “request a special favor to wear what suits them to a formal ceremony.”

Lawmakers have also overturned vetoes on several other measures, including an inclusion of Native American health experts on a wellness council and another that allowed the existence of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, the state broadcaster’s subsidiary.

The Supreme Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Chuck Hoskin Jr., thanked the Legislature Thursday.

“I hope Governor Stitt gets the message that his blanket hostility towards tribes is a dead end,” Hoskin said in a statement. “The majority of Oklahomans believe in respecting the rights of Native Americans and working with the sovereign tribes that share this land.”

Kamryn Yanchick was a citizen of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma refused the opportunity When she graduated from high school in 2018, she wore an embellished beaded hat.

It’s really meaningful “to be able to express yourself uncompromisingly and be proud of your culture at a celebration without having to ask permission from a non-Native person,” said Yanchick, who now campaigns for Native American politics .

A former Native American student sued Broken Arrow Public Schools and two employees earlier this month after she was forced to remove an eagle feather from her graduation cap before her high school graduation.


Follow Sean Murphy on Twitter: @apseanmurphy


Nytimepost.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@nytimepost.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button