Tribal leaders are supporting a bill allowing Native American students to wear regalia. Public schools across Oklahoma no longer would be able to prevent Native American students from wearing traditional regalia if proposed legislation becomes law. Senate Bill 429, which passed the Senate Education Committee last week by a vote of 11-0, would ban the practice. Lucyann Harjo, Indian Education coordinator for Norman Public Schools, said passage is a crucial step to promoting freedoms for Native American students across Oklahoma. Currently, 2,700 students in the Norman district, or 16%, are tribally-enrolled. “Our district in Norman allows our Native students to wear an eagle feather or other important ceremonial items during graduation ceremonies,” Harjo said.
A Montana hotel worker has gone viral on TikTok after she appeared to be mocking a Native American woman’s accent during a heated exchange. Jaylynn Mitchell, a hotel guest at the Great Falls Inn in Butte, Mont. was recording an altercation she was having with Kathryn Carrette, a housekeeper at the hotel, over the checkout times for her disabled relative on Feb. 9th. “I’m gonna put this on TikTok. I’m gonna put this on TikTok,” Carrette said allegedly mocking Mitchell’s indigenous accent, repeating a threat she had made off camera. Mitchell, who calls out Carrette for using the condescending voice, saying, “see how she’s mocking our accent,” then had the police called on her and her family by the hotel’s general manager. Mitchell, who is part of Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, was staying at the hotel with her family, one of whom was her paraplegic uncle, for whom the family had requested accommodations prior to their stay.
Those are your headlines at this hour. I’m Colette Keith in the KIPI News center.