CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- American Indian students in Cumberland county were recognized Thursday night with the Eagle Feather Ceremony.
In all, 78 high school seniors received the honor, which historically represents bravery in battle.
It now represents the spirit and resilience of American Indian students.
Nine local tribes were represented at the ceremony.
Many of the graduates said they want their achievements to not only honor their ancestors but also inspire future generations with their representation and achievements.
"Native Americans and Indigenous peoples, we do exist, and we are here and especially for the Lumbee people because we have been through so many trials and tribulations, especially now with seeking federal recognition, so it is nice to show people in the media that we do exist and we are here," said Catherine Oxendine, a Lumber tribe member.
Cumberland County Schools is the first district to hold the Eagle Feather Ceremony in North Carolina.