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Education The Lac du Flambeau Curriculum

Wisconsin First Nations: ACT 31

American Indian Studies Curriculum

Wisconsin ACT 31 is a set of statutes that legally mandate the education of Wisconsin students on Native American studies. 

ACT 31 mandates that Wisconsin students learn about Native American: 

  • History
  • Sovereignty & Treaty Rights
  • Culture

This set of statues was put into place after there were many instances of Ojibwe Indians being treated poorly, having racist terms thrown at them, and physical and emotional harassment took place due to non-native people not understanding the treaty and sovereignty rights of Native people.

ACT 31 Requirements

  • Updated the social studies curriculum to include the study of Native American tribal bands located in Wisconsin at least twice in grades 4-8 and at least once in high school
  • Provide a curriculum for grades 4-12 to educate students on Wisconsin tribes’ off-reservation harvesting rights
  • Develop instructional programs targeted toward understanding differing cultures, value systems and human relations, with particular emphasis on Native American, Black American and Hispanic cultures
  • Required funds to be allocated to update student more culturally diverse resource materials
  • Requirement for any K-12 teacher granted a license to teach in Wisconsin to receive training on both minority group relations as well as on the history, culture and tribal sovereignty of the Native American tribal bands located in Wisconsin
  • Superintendent must develop a curriculum for grades 4-12 on the Chippewa Indians’ treaty-based, off-reservation rights to hunt fish and gather
  • School Boards must create instructional programs in which students can gain appreciation and understanding of different value systems and cultures as well as build the understanding of human relations particularly in regard to American Indians, Black Americans and Hispanics
  • All teachers must receive instruction in the study of minority group relations, including the history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of the federally recognized tribes and bands located in the state in order to receive their license to teach after July 1, 1991
  • School boards must provide adequate instructional resources, texts, and library services which reflect the cultural diversity and pluralistic nature of American Society
  • School boards must provide as part of the social studies curriculum, include instruction in the history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of the federally recognized American Indian tribes and bands located in the state of Wisconsin at least twice in elementary grades and at least once in high school

ACT 31 Updates

  • The Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction will develop model academic standards for local school districts to include historical and contemporary information
  • The bill increases the required instruction to 3 times in elementary grades and once in each high school grade
  • School districts are required to distribute informational materials about ACT 31 to new school board members and new administrators
  • In addition to teachers being required to receive instruction in minority group relations including the history, culture and tribal sovereignty, Wisconsin teachers will learn about current tribal affairs including off-reservation hunting and fishing rights, gaming and other significant contemporary issues.
  • Charter schools or Choice programs will provide instruction in the history, culture and tribal sovereignty at least 2 times in elementary grades and once in high school grade

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