American Indian Studies: Since Time Immemorial

Who we are…

American Indian is the legal term for the federally recognized tribes that reside within the U.S.

Unlike other American ethnic groups, federally recognized tribes and nations deal with U.S. state, and local governments on a “government-to-government” basis.

Two-Spirit Pride in the Puget Sound

Phoenix Johnson, right, a Two Spirit member of the Tlingit and Haida Nation, takes a selfie with Elijah Campbell from the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin at The Puyallup Tribe of Indians’ third annual Pride Celebration Sunday, July 25, at Chief Leschi Schools in Tacoma. The pair were among five event attendees chosen as Puyallup Pride Royalty.
The Puyallup Tribe of Indians held its third annual Pride Celebration Sunday, July 25, at Chief Leschi Schools in Tacoma.
Raven Two Feathers is an Emmy-award winning filmmaker and artist from the Cherokee, Seneca, Cayuga and Comanche tribes. Two Feathers, who is trans and Two Spirit, works to advocate for LGBTQ2S+ representation.
University of Washington student and athletic advocate for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Rosalie Fish, a Cowlitz Indian Tribe member, says “I don’t try to hide my queer identity from my Indigenous identity because they are not separate.”
Jordan Remington, an enrolled member of the Quileute Tribe, stands in front of his art in Capitol Hill, Wash. Remington is a popular Seattle Indigiqueer icon known for performing in his drag persona, Hailey Tayathy. Jordan Remington

What does it mean to be Two-Spirit?

Honor Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and People

“Our prayers go out to the missing & murdered indigenous women. We love and miss you. This video features the West Shore Canoe Family. Song composed by Antone George. Video produced by Children of the Setting Sun. Music arranged and recorded by Mark Nichols.” –Children of the Setting Sun

Public Resources

Other Resources:

As of April 17, 2023 there are 134 missing indigenous people in Washington state alone. (WSP Missing Indigenous People Unit)

Why are Indigenous women going missing or being killed?
The simple answer is colonialism. Indigenous women, girls, and two spirit people are not safe while living in colonial systems that target them for violence and allow that violence to flourish with no response. Their peoples cannot enforce their natural laws and protect their vulnerable or targeted populations under settler colonial occupation, their bodies are treated as objects for the taking, and settler culture continues to teach generations of people that Indigenous women and girls are hypersexual beings easy to use and abuse.
What can be done about this crisis?
Uphold tribal sovereignty, honor treaties, listen to the families and survivors who have critical perspectives and expertise to share. There are more specific things that can be done, like passing certain policies, but ultimately, Indigenous self-determination and sovereignty must be upheld so that Indigenous peoples have the ability to protect their own. (from the MMIWG2 & MMIP Organizing Toolkit)

Native American Heritage Month logo
Access the SPS American Indian Studies COURSE Page MMIWG2/MMIP folder for classroom resources, lessons, and videos.

American Indian Studies: STI

March 9 is Billy Frank, Jr. – Salmon Celebration Day

Learn more about Billy Frank, Jr. and his legacy

Photo of Billy Frank, Jr. announcing Billy Frank, Jr. Day at Seattle Public Schools

March is National Women’s History Month

Learn more about influential Native American women who have made a difference in Indian Country!

February is African American History Month-Learn about Black Indians

photo of book indiVisible

SPS Black Indians webpage

SPS staff can find resources in Schoology.

Tribal Government 101

Native American Education led a government-to-government relationships professional development session where elementary, middle, and high school teachers were taught about

  • how treaties limit tribal sovereignty
  • how local, county, state, tribal, and federal governments build relationships
  • Muckleshoot and Suquamish tribal information
  • federal recognition
  • P – 12 SPS and OSPI resources
  • and more.

SPS teachers are invited to view materials and recordings in Schoology. Visit the MySPS American Indian Studies page and Schoology for access. (staff login required)

November is Native American Heritage Month

2021 SPS Video: “We Are More Than a Month

IllumiNative Toolkits

The Founding of Daybreak Star

Native American Artists and Veterans

October 10 is Indigenous Peoples Day

Indigenous Peoples Day logo

Learn More About Indigenous Peoples Day

October 1, 2022:

Banner that says September 30-Wear Orange and the "Every Child Matters" logo is centered

September 30 is Orange Shirt Day – “Every Child Matters”

Remember survivors of residential and Indian boarding schools

Teaching Resources for P – 12

National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition

Since Time Immemorial Learning Resources

NEW Yearlong Washington State History Scope and Sequence

Now there are two semesters of 7th grade Washington State History! Each semester emphasizes tribal history and sovereignty. Check it out!  SPS Washington State History Scope and Sequence

Washington State Curriculum

Since Time Immemorial logo

RCW 28A.320.170

From the  Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 28A.320.170, 2015, Washington State Legislature:

Upon social studies curriculum adoption, a school district shall incorporate curricula about nearest tribes’ histories, cultures, and governments. School districts meet the requirements by using the state-developed curriculum AND incorporating elements that are regionally specific. 

Modifications & Required State Collaboration

School districts shall collaborate with OSPI on curricular areas regarding tribal government and history that are statewide in nature, such as the concept of tribal sovereignty and the history of federal policy towards federally recognized Indian tribes.

Seattle Public Schools Curriculum

Teachers are expected to teach district approved tribal history curriculum and Since Time Immemorial curriculum in every grade.