Oklahoma Legislature overrides governor’s veto of tribal regalia bill

May 25, 2023, 2:53 PM

FILE - Amryn Tom reacts after graduating from Cedar City High School on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in...

FILE - Amryn Tom reacts after graduating from Cedar City High School on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in Cedar City, Utah. Tom is wearing an eagle feather given to her by her mother and a cap that a family friend beaded. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

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

National News

Remnants of police tape dangle from the railing outside a home following a shooting in Lebanon, Pa....

Associated Press

Adult and teen charged in Pennsylvania shooting that killed 2 young boys, man

LEBANON, Pa. (AP) — Two young boys were playing with kittens in their backyard when shots rang out at a home in eastern Pennsylvania, killing both children and a young man who was the apparent target, authorities said Thursday. An adult and a teen have been charged in the shooting, and police are seeking a […]

9 hours ago

FILE - The Treasury Building is viewed in Washington, May 4, 2021. The United States has announced ...

Associated Press

US sanctions Iranians over alleged assassination plots of former US officials, dissidents

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Thursday announced sanctions against a group of Iranian and Turkish people and firms accused of plotting to assassinate former U.S. government officials, dual U.S. and Iranian nationals, and dissidents. Three Iran- and Turkey-based people; a company affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, which is a […]

9 hours ago

FILE - The Supreme Court is seen on April 21, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)Cre...

Associated Press

Supreme Court rules against union in labor dispute involving truck drivers and wet concrete

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a dispute about the pressure that organized labor can exert during a strike, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday against unionized drivers who walked off the job with their trucks full of wet concrete. The decision united liberal and conservative justices in labor’s latest loss at the high court. The lone dissenter […]

9 hours ago

FILE - Emissions from a coal-fired power plant are silhouetted against the setting sun in Kansas Ci...

Associated Press

Federal appeals court halts EPA effort to impose air pollution plan in Missouri

A federal appeals court has put on hold an Environmental Protection Agency regulation aimed at reducing air pollution in Missouri, drawing criticism from environmentalists but praise from the state’s attorney general who called the proposal “unconstitutional overreach.” Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced Wednesday that the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week granted […]

9 hours ago

Debris is spread out in front of a convenience store, Tuesday, May 30, 2023, in Columbia, S.C. Rich...

Associated Press

Store owner charged with murder in teen’s shooting has shot at suspected shoplifters before

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A store owner in South Carolina charged with murder this week after shooting a teen he wrongly thought stole water has shot at suspected shoplifters two other times in the past eight years and not faced charges, authorities said. In 2018, Richard Chow confronted a shoplifter at his Xpress Mart Shell […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

3 residents of partially collapsed Iowa building still unaccounted for, police say

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Three residents of an Iowa apartment building that partially collapsed on Sunday are still unaccounted for, according to police. Earlier this week, authorities said five people were missing, but Davenport Police Chief Jeff Bladel said during a media briefing Thursday morning that two of them have since been accounted for […]

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Oklahoma Legislature overrides governor’s veto of tribal regalia bill