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Support Navajo Girl to Wear Her Moccasins for High School Graduation

This petition had 6,588 supporters

Hi my name is Dylan McCabe. I am Comanche, Ft. Sill Apache, and Navajo. I attend North Point High School in Waldorf, Maryland and am graduating next Thursday, June 2nd. Although far from our traditional homelands, my parents do the best they can to keep my brother and I as involved with our culture as possible. This is a real challenge with living on the east coast and a constant struggle to do so in the face of so much ignorance about Native Peoples in general, much less my specific tribal affiliations.

Earlier this week I was informed by my principal that my request to dress in my traditional Navajo clothing was only partially approved. My dress was approved only because it wasn't visible below the graduation robe hemline, but my moccasins and leggings were not approved. The graduation requirement calls for black shoes that are either flat or no higher than two inches in height.

In response to this denied request, my mom submitted an appeal to the Charles County Superintendent and the Board of Education. She has a meeting scheduled this Tuesday, May 31st with the Superintendent  to discuss the appeal and hopefully come to a positive conclusion. 

My Navajo clothing is a reflection of my religious and cultural identity. My grandparents sent me this ceremonial dress and indicated that it was also appropriate for this occasion. My leggings and moccasins are what complete this ceremonial attire. They are essential to one another and sacred to me.  I wore these during my Kinaaldá ceremony. The Kinaaldá  is a rigorous 4-day and 4-night puberty rights ceremony. I performed  various rites of passage and was considered holy during this time. One of my responsibilities included running at daybreak, noon, dusk. I ran three times a day, farther and farther each time in these moccasins. They spiritually carried me and supported me through this ceremony. They are incredibly important to me and signify that I have the personal endurance and strength to take on any challenge that's given to me. 

I am respectfully requesting for your help. Please sign this petition in  support of me to wear my traditional Navajo clothing in its entirety that includes my moccasins and leggings on my graduation day.  Ahéhee’ Thank you.

Dylan McCabe

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