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Senate passes bill allowing beaded caps for Native American graduates

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Democratic state Sen. Troy Heinert.

The state Senate is passing a bill that allows the wearing of beaded caps for school graduations.

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Troy Heinert
A graduation cap beaded by state Sen. Troy Heinert

The legislation builds on prior successful efforts by Native American lawmakers to allow eagle feathers and plumes on graduation caps.

State Sen. Troy Heinert brought the bill in the Senate. The Lakota Democrat from Mission says beaded caps are a way Native American high school students and families can celebrate graduation.

“If you look back, culturally, we try to be pretty ornate in our designs and outfits for special occasions,” Heinert says. “If you look at the regalia used at wacipis [powwows], they’re very colorful and vibrant. A lot of us have family designs that have come down through our families. It’s another way to identify who we are.”

The House bill passed unanimously out of the Senate. It now heads to the governor’s desk.