First Peoples’ languages are falling silent. This is a loss to the cultural heritage of the affected tribes and to the cultural resources of Washington State. Teaching First Peoples’ languages can be a critical factor in successful educational experiences and promoting cultural sensitivity for all students.
The purpose of establishing the program for the certification of teachers of First Peoples’ languages/cultures is to contribute to the prevention, recovery, revitalization, and promotion of First Peoples’ languages and provide the opportunity for tribal children to learn their language while at school.
Operating procedures for the First Peoples’ program
- Sovereign tribal governments wishing to participate in the First Peoples program notify PESB of their intent to participate by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- While not required, tribes are encouraged to complete a government-to-government agreement and submit it to PESB for executive director signature and to be scheduled on the board agenda. Such agreements strengthen the working relationship between individual tribes and the PESB.
- Government-to-government agreement appears on PESB agenda. A government-to-government agreement between each sovereign tribal government and the Professional Educator Standards Board needs PESB action only one time.
- Candidates for the certificate follow the certification process outlined by OSPI. OSPI certification staff issue First Peoples’ language, culture, and oral tribal traditions certificates to the individual, or reissue the initial or residency certificate with a First Peoples’ language, culture, and oral tribal traditions endorsement.
Application forms for First Peoples’ language, culture and oral tribal certification
For further assistance with the application contact:
OSPI certification office
Here is the government to government agreement (document)
Please send government to government agreement, or, if no agreement will be signed, an email notifying PESB of the intent to participate in this program, to Leiani.Sherwin@k12.wa.us
Tribes participating in the First Peoples’ language, culture, and oral tribal traditions program
Confederated Colville Tribes
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe
Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
Nisqually Indian Tribe
Puyallup Tribes of Indians
Quinault Indian Nation
- Colville (PDF)
- Cowlitz (PDF)
- Kalispel (PDF)
- Lower Elwha (PDF)
- Makah (PDF)
- Muckleshoot (PDF)
- Nisqually (PDF)
- Nooksack (PDF)
- Puyallup (PDF)
- Quinault (PDF)
- Sklallam (PDF)
- Skokomish (PDF)
- Spokane (PDF)
- Suquamish (PDF)
- Tulalip (PDF)
Letters of support
- First Peoples committee (PDF)
- Governor Locke (PDF)
- Warren T. Smith Sr., SBE (PDF)
- Linda W. Lamb, SBE (PDF)
- Andrea J. Naccarato, SBE (PDF)
- Larry Davis, Executive Director, SBE (PDF)
- Barbara Couture, Dean, College of Liberal Arts at WSU (PDF)
- Robert C. Bates, Provost, WSU (PDF)
Liaison agency between state and tribal governments
Technical assistance contacts
View the list of technical assistance page for points of contact about the First Peoples’ language, culture, and oral tribal traditions program