Dancers at a powwow in California. Photo: Marvin Lynchard / Department of Defense
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Bill for tribal regalia at graduation ceremonies advances in California

A bill to ensure Native students can wear their regalia to graduation ceremonies is inching forward in California.

The Assembly passed Assembly Bill 233 in April. It's now in the Senate, where it was approved by the Senate Education Committee last week and is awaiting action in the Senate Judiciary Committee, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

“Our position is that by denying a student the right to wear an eagle feather or another culturally significant item, they are being denied essentially their freedom of speech or freedom of expression,” Mark Vezzola, an attorney from the California Indian Legal Services, told the Education Committee at a June 14 hearing, the paper reported.

The bill is sponsored by Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D). He is a citizen of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes from Alaska and his district includes most of the city of San Diego, where he once served as interim mayor.

Video from the Education Committee's June 14 hearing can be viewed at The hearing on AB 233 starts around 42 minutes into the feed.

Read More on the Story:
Bill would allow cultural regalia at graduations (The San Diego Union-Tribune 6/19)

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André Cramblit: Bill in California allows tribal regalia at graduation ceremonies (April 5, 2017)