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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Eau Claire students, teacher win School Board victory for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Thanks to three determined students at Northstar Middle School, the Eau Claire Area School Board has unanimously passed a resolution to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and EducationVotes.org has publicized the action nationally. “From a teacher’s perspective it was really fun to watch the students collaborate, and they were able to give each other ideas,” said Eau Claire Association of Educators and WEAC member Amy Carlson Sather, the student’s seventh grade social sciences teacher. The students involved in the effort are Miinan White, an eighth grader at Northstar Middle and a member of both the Ojibwe and Ho-Chunk tribes, and her classmates Emma Heck and Cailey Stolt.

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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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