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Seals and Stole Award

Native American Graduating Seniors are eligible to earn the Seals and Stole award if they meet the eligibility criteria and follow the process. The online application will be available November 1. The deadline to apply is December 15, 2023.

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Seals and Stole Female Graduate

What is the Seals and Stole Award?

 The APS Indian Education Department created a special award for Native American seniors to wear with their gap and gown at commencement ceremonies. There are four seals that a senior may earn. It is an opportunity for Native students to learn more about their culture, contribute to their community, and learn the Zuni or Navajo language. Students may earn one, two, three, or four seals  (The fourth seal is a state language seal that at this time is only for seniors who are proficient in Navajo). By earning one seal, the student will receive the stole.   It is an honor for students to earn and wear the stole. 

 Who is Eligible?

 Native American high school seniors who:

  • Are enrolled in APS (not charter school).
  • Completed a 506 and/or CIB (Certificate of Indian Blood) and the forms are on file with the APS Indian Education Department.
  • Have a flat cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher by the end of fall semester senior year.
  • Less than 7 absences in any class (senior year).

When are the Deadlines?

Students need to be specific about which Seal(s) they are applying for.  You will need to two essays and two presentations if you are trying to earn the APS Indian Tribal Seal and the Seal for Distinguished Learning. 

Timeline below:

  • December 9, 2023: Seals & Stole workshop from 10 am to noon at City Center. This workshop will help students with essay, presentations, and demonstrations for the Seals & Stole application. ATTENDING ONE OF THE ABOVE WORKSHOPS IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED! Students can choose either workshop. It is the same, but being offered at two times.
    December 15, 2023: Application due (The application is online the APS Indian Education website under awards. Please indicate which Seals you are applying for in your application.)
    January 26, 2024: Essays due. Note: If you are working toward the Distinguished Service Learning Seal, your hours must be completed by January 26, 2024.
    February 23, 2024: Google slide presentation due. It can be one presentation for both the Tribal Seal and the Distinguished Learning Seal
    February 24, 2024: Two letters of recommendation from teachers, tribal leaders,or supervisors.
    March 21 and March 22, 2024: Presentations are at the APS City Center located at 6400 Uptown Blvd NE. They are in conference rooms downstairs.
    May 2, 2024 – Awards given at senior banquet at Isleta Resort & Casino.

Students need to be familiar with the Native American Values which includes:  Generosity, Independence, Belonging, and Mastery. Here is a Rubric of the Native American values.


Applicants will be notified by email and/or phone call in April regarding the status of the application.


Students will receive the award at the senior banquet which is typically 1-2 weeks before graduations are scheduled.


Students will wear their stoles over their graduation gowns during the graduation commencements. Each earned seals is attached to the stole. The seal looks like a “patch” that is attached to the stole. 

Contact Information

For more information, contact Sara Money by phone (505) 884-6392 or by email .