Oregon Passes “Tribal History/Shared History” Law

From the “Better-Late-Than-Never Department,” it just came to our attention that the state of Oregon passed the “Tribal History/Shared History” Law in 2017, which “calls upon the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to develop a statewide curriculum relating to the Native American experience in Oregon, including tribal history, tribal sovereignty, culture, treaty rights, government, socioeconomic experiences, and current events,” according to its website. The bill was proposed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

According to the state’s website:

“The ODE is enormously pleased to be collaborating with federally recognized tribes in Oregon and now partnering with Education Northwest to begin implementing SB 13,” said Colt Gill, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction. “When Governor Brown proposed SB 13 during the 2017 legislative session and subsequently signed it into law, it was because she deeply values the preservation of tribal cultural integrity and believes that honoring the history of Oregon’s tribal communities is critically important to our state as a whole, and to future generations of students.”

Washington state developed a curriculum called “Since Time Memorial.” According to the state’s website:

All 29 tribes have endorsed its importance and use. This site houses resources, materials, lessons, and entire units to support the teaching of tribal sovereignty, tribal history, and current tribal issues within the context of OSPI  [Offfice of the Superintendent of Public Instruction] recommended units for Washington and US history in the elementary and middle school levels and US history and Contemporary World Issues in the high school level.

This blog previously wrote about the state of Montana, which passed a Constitutional amendment in 1972 requiring state schools to teach American Indian history and culture (see: Montana Constitution Commits to Preserving Indian Cultural Heritage). Here is a link to Montana’s Indian Education Page.

Comment: Hard to say how much how all this translates in the classroom, but wanted to pass it along.

As far as Minnesota, the state has Academic Standards Relating to Minnesota Indian Tribes, as well as an Indian Education Program, geared toward providing “meaningful, intentional, and targeted educational opportunities to every American Indian student, while at the same time fostering cultural identity and pride.” In 2016, this blog wrote about St. Paul Public Schools Leading the Way in Indian Education for All.

This is a cursory overview. Comments welcomed for how well Minnesota district’s are doing teaching about Native history, culture, sovereignty, and current issues. 

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