Colyer signs Kansas bill protecting wearing of tribal regalia

? Gov. Jeff Colyer signed a bill into law Monday that protects the right of Native Americans to wear tribal regalia and other objects of cultural significance at public events in Kansas.

House Bill 2498 was sponsored by Rep. Ponka-We Victors, D-Wichita, a member of both the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma and the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona.

She said during debate on the bill that a handful of other states have enacted similar laws in response to policies enforced at events like high school graduations where officials sometimes insist on strict dress codes.

The new law bars any state agency or local government, including school districts, from preventing any individual from wearing tribal regalia at events such as award ceremonies, graduations or meetings of a governing body.