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HomeIndigenous NewsThe Wrap: Wearing Native regalia for graduation

The Wrap: Wearing Native regalia for graduation


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The spring season means graduation ceremonies will soon kick off across the country. With it? A growing trend among Native students to wear traditional regalia on their big day.

The Native American Rights Fund says each year it is contacted by Native students who are prohibited from participating in the practice of wearing eagle feathers or traditional outfits at graduation ceremonies.

NARF Attorney Morgan Saunders spoke with ICT to offer advice to students, and tribal leaders, in hopes of ensuring a smooth and celebratory day.

First, Saunders says, students should decide exactly what they plan on wearing to graduation — whether that’s an eagle feather, moccasins, a ribbon skirt, or a beaded graduation cap. READ MOREAliyah Chavez, ICT

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We are just beginning to see how expensive adapting to a new climate will be.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has awarded $25 million for three communities working on their move to higher ground. In addition to Taholah, on the Quinault Indian Nation, there are two villages in Alaska, Newtok Village and the Native Village of Napakiak, on the agency’s list.

The BIA will spend another $12.7 million next year on managed relocation for tribes in Maine, Louisiana, as well as others in Alaska and Washington state. All told the administration’s budget for next year is $119.5 million for tribes and community-based projects.

The numbers are staggering when you add them all together. And that’s just in Indigenous communities. Consider this: One recent report says that the cost to home owners globally is around nine percent of the value of housing, or roughly $25 trillion. READ MOREMark Trahant and Stewart Huntington, ICT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Alaska tribe has signed a historic agreement with Washington state to help keep Tlingit and Haida children with their families and tribes.

“This is the first contract of its kind between Washington and a tribe located out of state to assist with child welfare responsibilities,” said Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Family Services Division Director Mary Johnson, who is enrolled in the Native Village of Scammon Bay, and the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, in a prepared statement.

Tribal President Chalyee Éesh Richard Peterson, who is Tlingit and Haida, in late April signed the contract on April 20 for the tribe “to be able to provide child welfare services in Washington state and receive resources from the state of Washington to support this effort,” Johnson told ICT. Washington state signed the agreement on April 23, agreeing it will contribute $80,000 toward child welfare services of the tribe’s Washington office.

“It’s really exciting. We opened up our office virtually three years ago and then opened up a physical location in Lynnwood (just north of Seattle) at the end of 2023,” Johnson said. Tlingit & Haida has four Child Welfare program staff based out of the Lynnwood office. The tribe said its rolls show more than 1,600 enrolled citizens under the age of 18 live in the state of Washington. READ MOREJoaqlin Estus, ICT

NEW YORK — The Met Gala and its fashionista A-listers on Monday included Jennifer Lopez, Zendaya and a parade of others in a swirl of flora and fauna looks on a green-tinged carpet lined by live foliage.

Lily Gladstone, who is Siksikaitsitapii and Nimíipuu, went for black by Gabriela Hearst.

“We wanted me to feel draped in the power of my ancestors,” she said. “For Kiowa and Blackfeet, our ancestors are the stars, that’s where we come from. … I feel like it’s so long overdue that we have so much Indigenous representation and this sort of upper echelon world of high luxury fashion, because that is our aesthetic, you know, Natives have always loved luxury.”

Brooke Bobb, fashion news director for Harper’s Bazaar, saw a multitude of meanings in all of the evening’s black and florals. READ MOREAssociated Press

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How does a tribal nation grapple with the threats that come with climate change? And perhaps even more pressing, how do they pay for it? ICT’s Mark Trahant sheds light on these complex issues in part two of his coverage from the Quinault Nation in Washington state.

Students are protesting nationwide over the Mideast conflict, gaining momentum as colleges respond with force and arrests. With Gen Z students preparing to graduate, protests rage on amid a swelling police presence, leading to canceled graduation ceremonies. ICT’s Renata Birkenbuel brings us the story.

For more than two decades, an immersion school in Montana has aimed to teach the endangered Salish language. Lily Meskers reports how the Nwkusm Immersion school brings elders and children together to breathe new life into an ancestral language.

WATCH

Quinault face climate change head-on (26:46)

BRETTEVILLE-L’ORGUEILLEUSE, France — On D-Day, Charles Shay was a 19-year-old U.S. Army medic who was ready to give his life — and save as many as he could.

Now 99, he’s spreading a message of peace with tireless dedication as he’s about to take part in the 80th anniversary commemorations of the landings in Normandy that led to the liberation of France and Europe from Nazi Germany occupation.

“I guess I was prepared to give my life if I had to. Fortunately, I did not have to,” Shay said in an interview with The Associated Press.

A Penobscot Nation citizen from Indian Island in the U.S. state of Maine, Shay has been living in France since 2018, not far from the shores of Normandy where many world leaders are expected to come next month. Solemn ceremonies will be honoring the nearly 160,000 troops from Britain, the U.S., Canada and other nations who landed on June 6, 1944. READ MOREAssociated Press

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