State Superintendent Stanford Taylor asks districts to review graduation policies as they relate to American Indian traditions

As the school year winds down and graduation ceremonies take place, State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor has sent a reminder to Wisconsin school superintendents to review their policies regarding American Indian ceremonial traditions. “Throughout Wisconsin, many school districts already recognize the importance of American Indian students wearing eagle feathers, traditional regalia, and other items,” Stanford Taylor wrote, noting that many school districts addressed their policies in 2017 after the Department of Public Instruction asked them to connect with sovereign tribal nations and discuss with tribal leaders ways to recognize and honor tribal traditions and practices. In the past, some school districts have prohibited students from wearing items of religious and cultural significance at graduation ceremonies and school-sponsored events.

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WEAC President Ron Martin awarded eagle feather

WEAC President Ron Martin, of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is recipient of an eagle feather for his work for Wisconsin’s public school students, educators and schools. The feather was presented to the Eau Claire eighth grade teacher by a Menominee Nation elder in a surprise ceremony at the WEAC Representative Assembly.

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New website helps educators teach about American Indian nations

A new website, WisconsinAct31.org, is helping educators throughout the state tell the stories of Wisconsin’s American Indian nations to students from kindergarten through high school. Wisconsin Act 31 is the term for the five state statutes that require schools to teach American Indian Studies throughout a student’s career and maintain instructional materials that appropriately reflect diverse cultures.

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