Native American history is a significant part of the American story, and it is essential to educate ourselves about their culture and traditions. However, the teaching of Native American history has been a topic of debate for years.
While some states have made it mandatory to include Native American history in their curriculum, others have not. This article will explore which states teach Native American history in their schools.
States that Mandate Native American History
California: California is one of the few states that mandate the teaching of Native American history in its schools. The state’s Education Code requires all public schools to include instruction on the role and contributions of both California Indians and federally recognized tribes in California.
Oregon: Oregon’s Senate Bill 13 requires all public schools to teach Native American history, culture, and government policies.
Montana: Montana’s Indian Education for All Act mandates that all school districts must integrate Indian education into their curriculum. The act was first passed in 1999, making Montana the first state to require such education.
Washington: Washington state’s House Bill 1495 requires all public schools to teach tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, and the history and culture of Washington’s 29 federally recognized tribes.
States with Optional Native American History Curriculum
While some states have mandated the teaching of Native American history in their curriculum, others have made it optional for schools to do so. Here are a few examples:
Oklahoma: Although Oklahoma does not mandate teaching Native American history, it does provide resources for teachers who want to incorporate it into their lessons.
New York: New York State has an optional social studies framework that includes units on Native Americans. The framework encourages teachers to use primary sources from indigenous peoples when teaching about their history.
Texas: Texas’ curriculum includes teaching about Native Americans, but it is not mandated. However, teachers can use the state’s Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) to add Native American history to their lesson plans.
In conclusion, some states have made it mandatory to teach Native American history in their schools, while others have not. However, even in states where it is optional, educators can still choose to incorporate Native American history into their lesson plans. It is crucial that we educate ourselves and future generations about the significant contributions of Native Americans in shaping our country’s history and culture.