K-12 Outcomes


“The Big 5”
Tribal Sovereignty Outcomes for all Washington State Students
By the time Washington state students leave elementary school, they will

1. understand that over 500 independent tribal nations exist within the United States today, and that they deal with the United States, as well as each other, on a government-to-government basis;
2. define tribal sovereignty as “a way that tribes govern themselves in order to keep and support their cultural ways of life”;
3. understand that tribal sovereignty predates treaty times;
4. explain how the treaties that tribal nations entered into with the United States government limited their sovereignty; and
5. identify the names and locations of tribes in their area.


By the time Washington state students leave middle school, they will know the above, and in addition they will
• understand that according to the US Constitution, treaties are “the supreme law of the land”; consequently treaty rights supersede most state laws;
• explain that tribal sovereignty has a cultural, as well as political, basis;
• understand that tribes are subject to federal law and taxes, as well as some state regulations;
• understand that tribal sovereignty is ever-evolving; and therefore levels of sovereignty and status vary from tribe to tribe; and
• explain that there were and are frequent and continued threats to tribal sovereignty that are mostly resolved through the courts system.


By the time Washington state students leave high school, they will know they above, and in addition they will
• recognize landmark court decisions and legislation that affected and continue to affect tribal sovereignty;
• understand that tribal sovereignty works toward protecting tribes’ ways of life and toward the development of their nations;
• understand that tribal, state, and federal agencies often work together toward the same goal;
• explain the governmental structure of at least one tribe in their community; and
• distinguish between federally and non-federally recognized tribes.