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SB13 Tribal History Shared History

Curriculum Implementation

In 2017, the Oregon Legislature enacted Senate Bill (SB) 13, now known as Tribal History/Shared History. This law directs the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to create K-12 Native American Curriculum for inclusion in Oregon public schools and provide professional development to educators. The law also directs the ODE to provide funds to each of the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon to create individual place-based curriculum.

Tribal History Shared History

For years the state has been missing a critical opportunity to fully leverage the strengths, assets, and contributions our Native American students bring to their communities. The lack of accurate and complete curricula may contribute to the persistent achievement and opportunity gaps between Native American and other students.

In 2014, the ODE’s State Board adopted the Native American/Alaska Native Education State Plan. Objective 7 of the plan states, “Every school district in Oregon implements (K-12) historically accurate, culturally embedded, place-based, contemporary, and developmentally appropriate Native American/Alaska Native curriculum….”.

Native Americans lived in this state since time immemorial, long before it became Oregon. How can we teach youth about Oregon history without including the voice of Oregon’s Native American peoples – both past and present? This general lack of knowledge about Native American people extends to curricula - thus the need for Tribal History/Shared History. Currently, ODE includes required teaching about Native Americans in ODE’s Social Studies State Standards. Tribal History/Shared History will create opportunities to expand those requirements across multiple content areas.

Implementation of Tribal History/ Shared History

Learning about tribal nations in Oregon is important for all students. Each nation has a distinct origin story, worldview, and timeline of their history and contemporary context. However, much of that information has been presented to the general American public from a non-Native American perspective, filled with clichés, misconceptions and falsehoods. The ODE partnered with representatives of the nine federally recognized Tribal governments in Oregon to create Essential Understandings of Native Americans in Oregon. These nine essential understandings have been created to serve as an introduction into the vast diversity of the Oregon Native American experience.

Tribal History Shared History

ODE contracted with Education Northwest to create lesson plans (in grades 4th, 8th, and 10th) informed by the Essential Understandings and aligned to state standards. Eventually, ODE will create lessons Pre-K-12. These lessons embody indigenous teaching and learning opportunities specific to Native Americans.

Critical orientations for Indigenous studies curriculum focus on Place, Presence, Perspectives, Political Nationhood, Power, and Partnerships. To learn more about Tribal History/ Shared History Please visit the Essential Understandings of Native Americans in Oregon.

Oregon Department of Education Lesson Plans:

Lesson implementation for 2023-2024 all 4th, 8th and 10th lessons should be taught in the content areas of English Language Arts, Science, Math, Social Studies and Health. 

For more information including frequently asked questions please visit Educator Toolkit and Tribal History Curriculum Comes to Oregon Schools.

Contact Us:

Picture of Alison Heath
Alison Heath
K-12 TAG/Health/Social Sciences TOSA

(503) 431-3790