We have launched our new and improved “Since Time Immemorial”’ Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State online curriculum website today. Please review this awesome site.
This effort started in 2003 at the first Tribal Education Summit with tribal leaders, educators and Washington State representatives held at the Quinault Reservation. Tribes met for two days to discuss issues around Indian education. The first day was meeting with then Governor Gary Locke, and the second day was meeting with Terry Bergeson, our former State Superintendent of Public Instruction. At the close of the summit, it was clearly evident that tribes wanted curriculum about their history, culture, language and government. John McCoy, Representative, Washington State Legislature, pledged to get a bill passed to address these issues. The bill, first introduced in 2004, did not pass; then in 2005 House Bill 1495 was passed by the legislature, encouraging school districts to partner with local tribes to start the development of their curriculum. It is now RCW:28A.320.170: 28A345.070.
In 2007 OSPI’s Office of Native Education launched an effort to develop tribal sovereignty curriculum for the state of Washington. This endeavor has been a true collaboration between many players in education, OSPI, Tribes, Washington State School Directors Association, Washington State Board of Education, Indian organizations, environmental organizations, institutions of higher education, and the Gates Foundation just to name a few.
The STI curriculum is web-based, free and easy to use. It is aligned with our state standards, grade level expectations in social studies, curriculum based assessments, and (ELA) English language Arts standards. It is also in levels so that any teacher could use our curriculum and was developed to be integrated into existing content. For example, in elementary school it can be integrated in social studies, in middle school it can be integrated with Washington State history, and in high school it can be integrated into U.S. History as well as contemporary world problems. There is also an amazing amount of resources to support the curriculum. In addition, we have trainers to help train your staff to use this unique curriculum.
On September 28th, 2012, Superintendent Randy Dorn will be sending a letter out encouraging schools to use our STI curriculum.