ESCONDIDO, CALIFORNIA – Working on behalf of American Indian students who are denied the right to wear eagle feathers or other cultural adornment on their high school graduation cap and gown, California Indian Legal Services has successfully intervened in many of these cases. In some cases, schools have reversed its denial.
California Indian Legal Services brought this cultural issue to the attention of California lawmaker, Assemblymember Todd Gloria, from San Diego, who introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 233 to amend the Education Code by proscribing that a school cannot institute a policy that “prohibits a pupil from wearing religious, ceremonial or cultural adornments at high school graduation ceremonies.”
Additionally, California Indian Legal Services partnered with the California State University San Marcos’ Native American Indian Studies and the School of Art, Arts and Technology, to produce a short video capturing the importance of this issue for Native American students and tribes.
Levi Rickert, a tribal citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, is the publisher and editor of Native News Online. Previously, he served as editor of the Native News Network. He is a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan.