By Puyallup Tribal News Staff
The Puyallup School District sits on the traditional homelands of the Puyallup people. The Puyallup School Board voted 4-0 on Oct. 17 to amend its relations with the Puyallup Tribe and ensure accurate implementation of Since Time Immemorial (STI) curriculum. The adoption came at the end of a school board meeting in which several community members urged the board to ensure Since Time Immemorial curriculum was in place.
In 2015, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 5433 modifying the original 2005 legislation, now requiring the Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State or other Tribally-developed curriculum be taught in all schools. The use of the Since Time Immemorial curriculum has been endorsed by all 29 federally recognized Tribes, and has been successfully adopted in the surrounding districts on the reservation. The school district came under fire in June when its leadership put a hold on land acknowledgements during graduation ceremonies. The Tribe had concerns regarding whether the District was engaging in “meaningful consultation” per ESSA Tribal Consultation requirements, and these concerns were voiced in additional discussions with their Diversity and Inclusion group and at public school board meetings. As a result of months of discussion and delayed action, the Puyallup School District voted to approve a Tribal relations report outlining next steps and the district’s commitment to respectfully and accurately implementing STI.
The report included guidance on the use of land acknowledgements in public settings, including graduation, and a statement of affirmation regarding PSD and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. Action items to ensure future Tribal collaboration relations include a bi-annual consultation meeting between the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and the Puyallup School District, a bi-annual curriculum review meeting to expand on improving social studies curriculum materials pertaining to Indian Tribes, specifically on integrating Puyallup Tribal History. The Instructional Leadership Department will also conduct a curriculum audit randomly sampling schools and grade levels to assess STI efforts from the 2022-2023 school year. An annual report is now mandated to provide the Puyallup School District school board with an update on the status of district/Tribal relations, as well as the progress of Native American students.
To view the official school board minutes of the meeting, follow this link: