Apr 17, 2015 - WA State Passes Bill to Mandate Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum to be Taught in Public Schools by Matt Remle
The Washington State legislature has passed Senate Bill 5433, which will require the teaching of Northwest tribal history, culture, and government in Washington State’s common schools. Washington SB 5433 was an amendment to the 2005 House Bill 1495.
When it was passed, H.B. 1495 only “encouraged” Washington State school districts to teach Northwest tribal history, culture, and government. SB 5433 revised the language to now “mandate” the teaching of tribal sovereignty curriculum at the elementary, middle and high school grade levels.
School districts will now be required to implement the Since Time Immemorial tribal sovereignty curriculum (STI). The STI curriculum grew out of H.B. 1495 and was developed in partnership with the 29 tribes in WA State and the State’s Office of Native Education.
Sen. McCoy (right) with LRI’s Matt Remle
Both HB 1495 and SB 5433 were sponsored by Sen. John McCoy (Tulalip).
Washington State now joins Montana as the second state to mandate the teaching of tribal sovereignty curriculum. In 1999, Montana passed House Bill 528— the Indian Education for All Act.