Each spring the Oklahoma Council for Indian Education receive requests from tribal citizens statewide for support of their graduating seniors in wearing traditional regalia, including eagle feathers, with graduation attire. The OCIE Board of Directors stands with those who make these requests. We understand the significance of the graduation ceremony as a right of passage and the relevance of ceremonial items to our Native students. We appreciate and stress the importance of students having the ability to express their pride in a traditional way. We are pleased to share a toolkit [see TOOLKIT page] that includes (info coming very soon). Students, families, and other community members are welcome to utilize these documents to provide to schools who may not understand the relevance of these ceremonial items. Through collaborative efforts, we hope to help ensure that all of Oklahoma’s graduating students are able to represent their heritage with pride as they are honored for their achievements. April 21, 2019
In response to the ongoing teacher walkout among Oklahoma educators, the Oklahoma Council for Indian Education executive board of directors has released the following statement:
"Oklahoma Council for Indian Education board members and membership have witnessed the continual decrease of funding for our students across the state, including over 100,000 Native students who attend public schools. We, the executive board, firmly support the efforts of the teachers who have and continue to endeavor to bring about increased funding for our schools, combating the years of neglect that have undermined education in our state with the highest number of Native American students.
"We applaud and stand beside the passionate and diligent educators who are giving of their time and resources to demonstrate the dire situation that the state of education in Oklahoma has reached. Our students all deserve adequate resources and teachers who are well qualified and passionate about their subject areas and who truly care about making a positive difference in the lives of children who enter their classrooms daily. Oklahoma has innumerable teachers who are among the best in the country, despite the pay that is far below the national and regional averages. "We continue to support those educators who are demanding that the state fulfill its responsibility and fully fund our schools. Thank you, educators, who have taken a strong stand for full funding of resources and professional development critical to continue providing positive learning environments that allow students from all ethnicities and backgrounds to thrive.” April 6, 2018