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In Washington State, Senate Bill 5028 (2018) mandates the teaching of tribal sovereignty curriculum k-12 (STI) and integration of “Native American curriculum developed by the office of the superintendent of public instruction into existing Pacific Northwest history and government requirements” of existing teacher preparation programs. To do this work well, teacher educators in universities and communities must partner to prepare teacher candidates and in-service teachers to implement the curriculum within the context and goals of tribal nations. However, research finds that this work requires white teachers to confront their own biases that prevent them from being in true partnership with tribes to implement Indigenous informed curriculums. Our work shows that land education—that centers Indigenous people relations to land—in teacher professional development represents one avenue to do this work in good way, that is different from existing professional development models. To be clear, the findings from this research are not new understandings for tribal nation communities. The experiences and revelations depicted by white teacher participants represent generations of awareness by Indigenous peoples in public schools. We put forth the design of the LETPD and impact on white teachers for school districts as a framework to improve their school-based curriculum and engagements with Indigenous peoples. Before we describe the Land Education Teacher Professional Development (LETPD), we describe how this type of professional development (PD) is not the same as the more common place based PD work that happens in our region.




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