Montana Bill Aims to Allow Traditional Native Regalia at Graduation

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown March 2nd, 2017 Last Updated on: March 2nd, 2017

A hot topic that comes up time and time again across Turtle Island – will they let graduating seniors wear eagle feathers, beaded ball caps or moccasins to graduation ceremonies? A senate bill in Montana hopes to answer that question will a resounding yes!

As reported by the Billings Gazette, Senate Bill No. 319 would allow students to wear “traditional tribal regalia or objects of cultural significance” at public events like graduation. It would prohibit state agencies or local governments, including schools, from banning such garb.

As it stands now, most schools vary on their answer to allowing anything besides the usual cap and gown. Some allow decorations on the cap, some will allow only the feather and no other decorations. I know some schools are afraid to change the rules as they feel it will open the floodgates and everyone will want to do something different.

How do you guys feel? As long as it's not offensive, I'm all for the kids expressing their individuality and cultural heritage.

Photo by Hannah Potes, Gazette Staff

Home » Blog » Montana Bill Aims to Allow Traditional Native Regalia at Graduation

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Laura Alley Muehlbrad

The cap and gown were used so that everyone could walk with dignity and not have to worry about being shown up by the rich kids. Rental has become too expensive though.
I think moccasins are fine and whatever they want to wear under the gown. However, I think the cap and gown should be worn as they are, if that tradition is kept.
There’s that 10% who will misinterpret or abuse the privilege and it will end up looking like a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans going across the stage.
Keep the cap and gowns as they are (except footwear) or do away with them completely.

Free Email Series: What to Expect at Your First Pow Wow