Governor signs bill to create model Native American studies curriculum in California schools

Curriculum will be designed with input from tribes

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A bill authored by Assemblymember Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara) that would create a model curriculum in Native American studies in schools has been signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Under Assembly Bill 738, schools for grades 9-12 would need to offer a course in Native American studies based on the model curriculum.

The model curriculum will be designed with input from different tribes to preserve Native American culture and history.

“AB 738 is about communities telling their own stories that can be passed on to future generations,” said Limón. “A school curriculum that draws upon and reflects the history of all students, especially underrepresented students, is critical in providing a positive, engaging and meaningful experience in the classroom.”

California has the largest Native American population in the US.

“This is a proud day for our tribe and Native Americans throughout the state of the California. The passage of this bill means that students will have an opportunity to learn about our history, our journey, our sovereignty and our culture through a curriculum that will be developed with vital input and oversight from Native American tribes. We would like to thank both state Assemblymember Monique Limon for her work on this bill and Governor Brown for making this dream a reality,” said Tribal Chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Kenneth Kahn. 

AB 738 will become law on January 1, 2018.

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