Last week, Governor Matt Mead approved new social studies content and performance standards. The changes are the result of the 2017 Indian Education for All Act, which requires schools statewide to teach the history and culture of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho.
Districts have until the 2021-22 school year to fully implement the new curriculum. In preparation, Wyoming PBS produced educational videos and accompanying lessons plans about the Wind River Reservation designed for use in the classroom.
Michelle Hoffman, former superintendent of Fremont Country School District 14, facilitated a workshop at the recent Wyoming Native American Education Conference for teachers about how to use the videos. She said schools are already using these tools.
“There’s a demand for it, more interest, not only in the state but nationally," said Hoffman. “Videos that are culturally and educationally relevant to the Wind River Reservation. To teach not only what’s important here, not only to students here but to students throughout the state.”
Hoffman added the modules are easy to use.
“It’s all comprehensive. All I have to do is click on that lesson plan and it gives me additional sites outside of the video. It gives me maps. It gives me treaties. Anything that the lesson plan talked about is right there.”
The 13 videos and 33 lesson plans are also available to the general public at windriveredu.org.