State of Washington
64th Legislature
2015 Regular Session
By House Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs (originally sponsored by Representatives Ortiz-Self, Hurst, Appleton, Stokesbary, Goodman, Reykdal, Moscoso, Rodne, Pollet, Magendanz, Zeiger, Johnson, Tharinger, Tarleton, Fitzgibbon, Van De Wege, Santos, Wylie, Ormsby, Walkinshaw, Gregerson, and Farrell)
AN ACT Relating to teaching Washington's tribal history, culture, and government in the common schools; amending RCW 28A.320.170; and creating a new section.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature recognizes the need to reaffirm the state's commitment to educating the citizens of our state, particularly the youth who are our future leaders, about tribal history, culture, treaty rights, contemporary tribal and state government institutions and relations and the contribution of Indian nations to the state of Washington. The legislature recognizes that this goal has yet to be achieved in most of our state's schools and districts. As a result, Indian students may not find the school curriculum, especially Washington state history curriculum, relevant to their lives or experiences. In addition, many students may remain uninformed about the experiences, contributions, and perspectives of their tribal neighbors, fellow citizens, and classmates. The legislature finds that a more widespread use of the Since Time Immemorial curriculum developed by the office of the superintendent of public instruction, available free of charge to schools, would greatly contribute to helping schools improve history curriculum and the experiences Indian students have in our schools. Accordingly, the legislature finds that merely encouraging education regarding Washington's tribal history, culture, and government is not sufficient, and hereby declares its intent that such education be mandatory in Washington's common schools.
Sec. 2.  RCW 28A.320.170 and 2005 c 205 s 4 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) ((Each)) (a) Beginning the effective date of this section, when a school district board of directors ((is encouraged to)) reviews or adopts its social studies curriculum, it shall incorporate curricula about the history, culture, and government of the nearest federally recognized Indian tribe or tribes, so that students learn about the unique heritage and experience of their closest neighbors. ((School districts near Washington's borders are encouraged to include federally recognized Indian tribes whose traditional lands and territories included parts of Washington, but who now reside in Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia. School districts and tribes are encouraged to work together to develop such curricula.))
(b) School districts must meet the requirements of this section by using curriculum developed and made available free of charge by the office of the superintendent of public instruction. School districts may modify the curriculum in order to incorporate elements that have a regionally specific focus or to incorporate the curriculum into existing curricular materials.
(2) As they conduct regularly scheduled reviews and revisions of their social studies and history curricula, school districts ((are encouraged to)) shall collaborate with any federally recognized Indian tribe within their district, and with neighboring Indian tribes, to incorporate expanded and improved curricular materials about Indian tribes, and to create programs of classroom and community cultural exchanges.
(3) School districts ((are encouraged to)) shall collaborate with the office of the superintendent of public instruction on curricular areas regarding tribal government and history that are statewide in nature, such as the concept of tribal sovereignty and the history of federal policy towards federally recognized Indian tribes. The program of Indian education within the office of the superintendent of public instruction ((is encouraged to)) shall help local school districts identify federally recognized Indian tribes whose reservations are in whole or in part within the boundaries of the district and/or those that are nearest to the school district.
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