Native students allowed to don cultural items at graduation

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — When Andrew Mike prepared to graduate from Willamette High School this spring, he and his family were able to make the event even more special. His mother spent time decorating his mortarboard with intricate beading. He tied an eagle feather his grandmother gave him onto his cap, hanging alongside his tassel. Mike is an enrolled citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, and is also Shoshone Paiute and Winnebago. Donning the items means not only representing a large part of himself, but also his larger community. House Bill 2052 passed in May permits American Indian and Alaska Native high school graduates to wear tribal regalia and other cultural items during their graduation ceremonies.