Why is Since Time Immemorial (STI) curriculum important for educator preparation programs?
The STI curriculum prepares candidates to “educate…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” in a culturally sensitive manner; as required by the 1989 centennial accord and the 1999 millennium accord.
The Legislature recognizes 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, relevant to their lives or experiences.
- Many students may remain uninformed about the experiences, contributions, and perspectives of their tribal neighbors, fellow citizens, and classmates.
- The lack of accurate and complete curricula may contribute to the persistent achievement gap between Indian students and other students.
Washington State schools using the Since Time Immemorial curriculum will greatly contribute towards:
- Improving the understanding of students and educators about the past contributions of Indian nations and the contemporary and ongoing tribal and state government relations
- Improving the experiences Indian students have in schools
- Helping improve the accuracy of Washington’s history curriculum
Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State curriculum poster created by Michael Vendiola, citizen of the Swinomish Tribe, former Director with OSPI’s Office of Native Education.
Requirements for teacher preparation programs
- Teacher preparation programs must integrate the Since Time Immemorial curriculum into existing programs and courses, and ensure that teacher candidates engage and familiarize themselves with the content
- Programs may modify the curriculum in order to incorporate elements that have a regionally specific focus
Washington State or Pacific Northwest history and government
- Programs must require candidates to complete a one quarter or semester course, or the equivalent, in either Washington State or Pacific Northwest history and government
- This requirement may be completed by candidates prior to the program or external to the program, but completion must be verified by the program prior to the program recommending candidates for certification
- Any course used to meet this requirement must include information on the culture, history, and government of the American Indian peoples who were the first human inhabitants of the state and the region.
These requirements apply to all approved teacher preparation programs, including alternative routes, traditional routes, and CTE teacher preparation programs.
To prepare candidates to successfully teach about the history, culture and government of American Indian people, much more than just curriculum integration is needed. Candidates need to be able to demonstrate the intersection of cultural competence, equity and pedagogy in their teaching practices.
Promising practices for educator preparation programs
Integrating the Since Time Immemorial curriculum into educator preparation programs is one part in a bigger picture of continuous learning and partnership with tribes, educational service districts (ESDs) and school districts. PESB and OSPI’s Office of Native Education (ONE) are working together to support opportunities and resources for all parties.
Promising practices for educator preparation programs involve a variety of models centered around four main areas:
- Relationships, partnerships and collaboration between tribal nations, preparation programs and districts
- Professional learning for program leaders, faculty, and field supervisors
- Content and curriculum
- Evidence of engagement
Several preparation programs participated in webinars sharing their models centered around these four main areas. Programs are highly encouraged to view the recorded webinars and study the slide decks of models of promising practices for examples of how they can begin and progress in this work.
Relationships, partnership, and collaboration
As a foundation of this work, promising practices involve educator preparation programs establishing partnerships and collaborating with local tribes and local school districts in proximity to the program’s physical location. Preparation program leaders should work with their organization’s Native Education Liaison or, if the organization does not have a liaison, take it upon themselves, to reach out to local tribes and local tribal schools. Partnerships should advance the mutual interests of all parties, with the interests of all native and non-native students at the forefront.
View the tribal partnership webinar with guest speaker Denny Hurtado of the Skokomish tribe
Resources for establishing partnerships with local tribes and school districts:
- School districts and nearest federally recognized Indian tribes
- Interactive Washington State tribal map
- Tribal maps
- Tribal chair contact information
- Federally recognized tribes in Washington State
- Non-federally recognized tribes in Washington State
- Tribal colleges
- Washington State tribal schools
- Affiliated tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI)
- Washington State Indian education association
Building upon the foundation of partnerships with local tribes, a second main area of promising practice is professional learning for program leaders and faculty around the Since Time Immemorial curriculum as it relates to and reflects local tribal history and culture.
Professional learning available through webinars
Preparation program leaders, faculty and candidates are welcome to attend the following OSPI/ONE webinars to gain an understanding of the Since Time Immemorial curriculum and other resources available on the STI curriculum website. Registration is required for these webinars. Learn more.
- “READY TO GO” WEBINARS (February-May, 2021)
These 2-hour webinars will provide an introductory overview of the STI curriculum and a guided navigation through the website. We will also focus on the ready to go lessons shared by educators and tribal members which were added during the spring of 2020 as well as Native Knowledge 360 lessons developed by the National Museum of the American Indian. We will be offering morning and afternoon sessions.
- “TEACHER TO TEACHER” WEBINARS (June, 2021)
These 2-hour webinars will feature amazing teachers who will share lesson resources and ideas on how to implement the STI curriculum and engage students with their learning.
Two free clock hours will be offered depending on which sessions you attend.
Content and curriculum
A third area of promising practice is integrating the Since Time Immemorial curriculum into the preparation program curriculum across all subject areas . The Since Time Immemorial tribal sovereignty curriculum is aligned to Social Studies, English Language Arts, Environmental and Sustainability Education, and Social Emotional Learning state standards.
The webinar recordings and slide decks include several various models from preparation programs demonstrating how this could be done. In addition to those models, the following resources can be helpful to programs in this work.
- Since Time Immemorial curriculum
- OSPI/ONE “Ready to Go” lesson resources
- OSPI/ONE Since Time Immemorial professional learning guide
- Lesson planning template
- Examples of model
- Grade level outcomes – “The big five outcomes” for each grade level found on page two of the STI Overview.
Evidence of engagement
How can preparation programs monitor their engagement? The following list is not exhaustive, rather these are examples of evidence that indicate the preparation program is engaged on a holistic level.
- Tribal and district partnerships
- Professional learning for faculty, staff, and field supervisors
- Demonstration of learning and understanding by teacher preparation candidates through various assignments, artifacts and/or assessments