The Power of Tribal History/Shared History
This film provides an example of what is possible in public education when curricula reflect the full, rich history of our students’ surroundings, including the voices that have been historically silenced and marginalized.
In 2017, Senate Bill 13 passed with support from a variety of partners and the nine federally recognized Tribes in Oregon. The bill authorizes the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to develop a statewide curriculum on the Native American experience and history in Oregon.
This month, Tribal History/Shared History is nearing its release for the academic year, and a new video introduces the curriculum to the educators and leaders who will be required to implement the new curriculum, which includes 45 lesson plans across grades 4, 8 and 10 in a range of subject areas.
“This is a historic, monumental moment where a state has chosen to center voices of Indigenous nation to create a bill that centers all students in a highly collaborative endeavor.” says Shadiin Garcia who partnered with an Education Northwest team and ODE to create the curriculum. “It’s an invitation and an opportunity to teach the rich history of our land and its people and to pair the strengths of our education system, teachers and students with the new knowledge and content the curriculum will establish.” (Read more.)
Whether the conversation is about Culturally Responsive Education or new Tribal History curriculum in Oregon, sometimes advocates are met with , “But what about…” followed by a different ethnicity, race, gender, or identity expression to convey concern about attention being given to one group over another. Achieving education equity is not a zero sum game; all students’ learning experience is enhanced when curriculum spotlights often untold stories of history and its present effects. Learning about the experiences of others informs a deeper understanding of the world we share and highlights our collective role in continuing to improve it.
How other states can replicate Oregon’s process
Step 1: Gather a group of people who care, centering Indigenous voices, as an advisory council to write the plan.
Step 2: Include a line item in the plan that requires writing a bill to get funding behind it, which means writing a legislative agenda.
Step 3: Partner with a comprehensive center like Education Northwest to put together a community of practice and learn what other places are doing.
Step 4: Through intentional collaboration, offer the bill to the state.
Step 5: Select organizations across the state who would likely support and ask them to partner in creative ways, such as co-hosting a series of open forums to talk about the bill as it passes. Include them in messaging across the state about the bill itself.
Step 6: With this collaborative muscle setting the tone, bring together key people representing the groups across the state to write the curriculum. In Oregon, representatives from the 9 nations met over the course of a year and half to wrestle, heal, learn, grow, debate, and decide which Essential Understandings would be used as the framework and foundation for building the statewide Tribal History/Shared History curriculum.
Step 7: Make sure every step along the way is open, transparent, collaborative, and publicly vetted.
Step 8: Put it into practice so that every student who graduates will know this accurate history about their state and American Indians.
New film from Oregon shows how important it is that our curricula accurately represent our shared history as well as Tribal History. Let’s bring this model to more places! https://youtu.be/7JKpIH0-5ro #FutureForLearning
Find out what is possible in public education when curricula reflect the full, rich history of our students’ surroundings, including voices and histories of people who have been silenced and marginalized.
“This is a historic, monumental moment where a state has chosen to center voices of indigenous nation to create a bill that centers all students in a highly collaborative endeavor.” says Shadiin Garcia who partnered with an Education Northwest team and ODE to create the curriculum. “It’s an invitation and an opportunity to teach the rich history of our land and its people and to pair the strengths of our education system, teachers and students with the new knowledge and content the curriculum will establish.”
Read more: https://educationnorthwest.org/news/new-video-introduces-oregon-educators-tribal-historyshared-history