[Oklahoma City, OK, November 1, 2016] Statement by Mark Hammons, Oklahoma Democratic Party, on National Native American Heritage Month. This month as we honor Native Americans and their heritage, let us both celebrate and respect the diversity of Oklahoma’s many sovereign tribal nations.  In honoring these cultures, we remember and respect that each nation has its own unique and important heritage, history, language, government and traditions.


An important part of the culture of Native Americans is their tribal regalia which has both social and spiritual meaning unique to each nation.  It is important that we honor that regalia and not treat it as a mere costume or decoration to be used thoughtlessly.  It does not honor our Native Americans when, for instance, the Governor’s daughter wears a tribal headdress as a costume in a beauty pageant.  These are important symbols which should never be trivialized.  They are to be worn only by proper people at proper events.


The Democratic Party pledges its respect for the diverse cultures of all our Native Americans and stands strong for honoring this rich and diverse heritage in all its expressions.


Mark Hammons
Oklahoma Democratic Party – Chair