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Lawmakers work to allow traditional objects and regalia in schools

Supporters of the legislation have shared concerns over students being told they couldn’t walk at graduation or facing bullying because of their cultural expression.

Michigan bills to defend Indigenous cultural expression in schools could soon advance out of committee.

The legislation would ban discrimination against traditional objects or wearing traditional regalia in schools.

Bill package supporters say children have faced exclusion for wearing cultural items—like an eagle feather.

Nichole Keway Biber, tribal citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, said Indigenous kids have often been taught to not celebrate their heritage.

“So, if we have our generations upcoming, that from the beginning, are not embarrassed of who they are, and know that it’s important and that those teachings need to be shared and spoken up for, that’s a powerful legacy and a powerful correction.”

The legislation could see a committee vote this week.

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