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.