Regalia

Graduation ceremonies this spring became the testing ground for a new state law that protects tribal members’ right to wear regalia at significant public events. Most have gone off without a hitch — students across the state are receiving their diplomas in beaded caps and gowns, but schools are still trying to figure out how to implement the new law.

Gov. Steve Bullock will hold a signing ceremony tomorrow for a bill that will allow Native Americans to wear traditional regalia during public events, including high school graduations.

“This bill means a lot to me. It’s important that our youth are able to display their culture and their identity during monumental events, such as graduation,” says Marci McLean, the director of Western Native Voice, a nonprofit advocacy group.

Bill Would Prohibit Bans On Traditional Regalia At Public Events

Mar 15, 2017

Native American communities across Montana are asking the Legislature to make it unlawful to ban traditional regalia, specifically beaded caps, during graduation ceremonies. Senate Bill 319 would allow items with cultural significance to be worn at public events. The bill specifies those events to include public meetings, awards ceremonies and high school or college graduation ceremony.