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Implementation of Tribal History - Shared History

Learning about tribal nations in Oregon is important for all students. Each nation has a distinct origin story, worldview, and timeline of their history and contemporary context. However, much of that information has been presented to the general American public from a non-Native American perspective, filled with clichés, misconceptions and falsehoods. The ODE partnered with representatives of the nine federally recognized tribal governments in Oregon to create Essential Understandings of Native Americans in Oregon. These nine essential understandings have been created to serve as an introduction into the vast diversity of the Oregon Native American experience.

ODE contracted with Education Northwest to create lesson plans (in grades 4th, 8th, and 10th) informed by the Essential Understandings and aligned to state standards. Eventually, ODE will create lessons Pre-K-12. These lessons embody indigenous teaching and learning opportunities specific to Native Americans.

Critical orientations for Indigenous studies curriculum focus on Place, Presence, Perspectives, Political Nationhood, Power, and Partnerships.

ODE has 45 lessons available to districts in grades 4th, 8th, and 10th (in several different content areas). Districts will be able to choose one lesson per grade in each content areas to implement for the 2019-20 academic year – teaching a minimum of 15 lessons:


4th Grade, 8th Grade and 10th Grade


  • English Language Arts
  • Math
  • PE/Health
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Tribal History/Shared History Letter

The ODE has made resources available to each of the nine federally recognized tribal governments in Oregon for the creation of accurate place-based, tribally-specific curriculum. These lesson plans will also be available on ODE’s Office of Indian Education website for districts to utilize.

The ODE is in the process of developing a variety of development opportunities throughout the summer 2019, and during the 2019-20 academic year for educators to learn more about the Essential Understandings of Native Americans in Oregon and subsequent lesson plans.

The ODE lessons will be available on Tribal History Shared History website in October 2019. Implementation for all Oregon districts of the Tribal History / Shared History lessons will begin in early January 2020.

Educators can begin preparing for implementation of these lessons by:

  • Researching your local tribe and or native community;
  • Reading “The First Oregonians” 2nd Edition, Oregon Council for the Humanities;
  • Participating in future professional development (schedule will be posted on website November, 2019);
  • Review the Educator Toolkit located on the ODE website; and
  • Reviewing existing curricula, materials, and books to detect and challenge biases.
1. Critical Orientations for Indigenous Studies Curriculum, Leilani Sabzalian, Assistant Professor, Indigenous Studies in Education, University of Oregon