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Several Native American Students Approved to Wear Eagle Feather at Graduation

January 11, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications

Tampa, Fla. – (January 11, 2018) – Several Native American students in Hillsborough County Public Schools have been approved for a new and important ceremonial honor: wearing the feather of an eagle during their high school graduation ceremony this Spring.

Superintendent Jeff Eakins, along with school board members, students and their families will share more details about this recognition at a press conference tonight, Thursday, January 11, at 6 p.m., at the Children’s Board located at 1002 East Palm Avenue, Tampa. A student will also demonstrate how the feather will be worn on their graduation cap.

Federal law and policy has long recognized the ceremonial significance of eagle feathers to many Native Americans. Approximately 17 students from Federally recognized tribes will wear the eagle feathers. Students must be nominated and selected for this honor by their tribe. The students will place the feather with their tassel on their graduation caps. 

Graduation from high school is a significant occasion for a student and their family. Hillsborough County Public Schools believes this distinction will allow students to honor their heritage and recognize their cultural beliefs. Eagle feathers symbolize the strength it took to reach a milestone, such as graduation, and represent the strength and power of an eagle soaring through life, which is what Native American youth take with them as they graduate high school and continue on to the next stage in life.


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