Future Washington Teachers May Need More Training On Native American Culture, History

Washington Capitol building
Washington State Capitol Building TED S. WARREN / AP PHOTO

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Future teachers in Washington may have to get more training in the history, culture, and treaty rights of Native American tribes. That’s a requirement of a bill currently before the state Legislature.

To be certified in Washington state, would-be teachers have to take at least one college course on state or Pacific Northwestern history and government. State lawmakers want to integrate Native American curriculum into those classes.

Peggen Frank is a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe and a lobbyist for the Hoh and Stillaguamish Tribes in Washington.

“It’s not just tribal member’s history. It’s everybody’s history,” Frank said. “Our teachers and our students will be able to have an understanding of our beautiful culture, of the way our tribal governments work.”

The change would apply to all teacher preparation programs, not just courses in colleges and universities.

The bill has passed the Senate and is making its way through the House.

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