UNITED STATES NEWS

Oklahoma Legislature overrides governor’s veto of tribal regalia bill

May 25, 2023, 2:53 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Legislature on Thursday overrode Gov. Kevin Stitt’s veto of a bill that would allow students to wear Native American regalia during high school and college graduations.

The state House and Senate easily cleared the two-thirds threshold needed to uphold the measure, which takes effect July 1 and had strong support from many Oklahoma-based tribes and Native American citizens.

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

Stitt, a vetoed the bill earlier this month, saying at the time that the decision should be up to individual districts.

“In other words, if schools want to allow their students to wear tribal regalia at graduation, good on them,” Stitt wrote in his veto message. “But if schools prefer for their students to wear only traditional cap and gown, the Legislature shouldn’t stand in their way.”

Stitt also suggested the bill would allow other groups to “demand special favor to wear whatever they please at a formal ceremony.”

Lawmakers also overrode vetoes of several other measures, including one adding experts on Native American health to a wellness council and another allowing for the existence of the Oklahoma Educational Television 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 dead end,” Hoskin said in a statement. “The majority of Oklahomans believe in respecting the rights of Native Americans and working together with the sovereign tribes who share this land.”

Kamryn Yanchick, a citizen of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, was denied the opportunity to wear a decorated cap with a beaded pattern when she graduated from her high school in 2018.

Being able to “unapologetically express yourself and take pride in your culture at a celebration without having to ask a non-Native person for permission to do so is really significant,” said Yanchick, who is now a Native American policy advocate.

A Native American former 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 prior to her high school commencement ceremony.

___

Follow Sean Murphy on Twitter: @apseanmurphy

United States News

Associated Press

Southern New Mexico wildfire leads to evacuation of village of 7,000

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a village in southern New Mexico were ordered to flee their homes Monday without taking time to grab any belongings due to a fast-moving wildfire. “GO NOW: Do not attempt to gather belongings or protect your home. Evacuate immediately,” officials with Ruidoso, a village home to 7,000 people, said […]

7 hours ago

A sign outside the Internal Revenue Service building is seen, May 4, 2021, in Washington. The gover...

Associated Press

The IRS plans to end another major tax loophole for the wealthy, could raise $50 billion in revenue

The Internal Revenue Service plans to end another major tax loophole that could raise more than $50 billion in revenue over the next decade.

10 hours ago

President Joe Biden meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Oval Office at the Wh...

Associated Press

President Biden to announce deportation protection and work permits for those married to US citizens

President Biden is planning to announce a sweeping new policy that would lift the threat of deportation for those married to U.S. citizens.

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Former GOP Rep. George Nethercutt, who defeated House Speaker Tom Foley in 1994, dies at 79

SEATTLE (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt, who was a Spokane lawyer with little political experience when he ousted Democratic Speaker of the House Tom Foley as part of a stunning GOP wave that shifted national politics to the right in 1994, has died. He was 79. Nethercutt died Friday near Denver of progressive […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Convicted killer of California college student Kristin Smart ordered to pay $350k in restitution

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — A California judge ruled Monday that a man convicted of killing 19-year-old college student Kristin Smart in 1996 must pay just over $350,000 to her family for costs they incurred after her death. Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jennifer O’Keefe ordered Paul Flores to make the payments after a […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Central African Republic faces increased rebel activity and spillover from Sudan war, UN experts say

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Activities of armed groups in the volatile Central African Republic have increased, complicating a security landscape that has seen a spillover of the conflict in neighboring Sudan, U.N. experts warn in a new report. The panel of experts cite confirmed reports of air raids by the Sudanese military around border areas […]

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Oklahoma Legislature overrides governor’s veto of tribal regalia bill