As many scholars celebrate their way across the stages at graduation many proceed with a sense of personal style and expression. I remember attending a graduation for the University of Notre Dame and there a row of graduates collectively spelled J.O.B.L.E.S.S across their graduate caps. Others, like a group of students from my own graduation at Texas Tech University, sent out messages honoring family or appreciation to those who helped them make this milestone accomplishment possible. I had the honor of attending two Montana tribal college graduations this year and I was in awe of the personalized bead-work adorning the mortarboards of many of the graduates. The traditional geometric shapes, peyote-stitched bead-work and the striking colors shared in the exuberant hopes of the graduates and made the event that much more Native. The following photos are from the mortarboards of scholars from Little Big Horn College and Chief Dull Knife College.
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Jaime Aguilar is a Media Specialist with the American Indian College Fund