Native American Curriculum could soon be required in all schools if Senate Bill 2304 passes

Published: Feb. 1, 2021 at 7:05 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota lawmakers heard a bill that would require all public and nonpublic schools to teach a four-week instructional course on Native American history, culture, treaty rights and other related subjects.

Bismarck Public School Students learned about Smudging, Native American Talking Circles, and other aspects of the Native American culture at Sertoma Park last summer.

Now, Senate Bill 2304 would transfer those lessons inside all the classrooms in the state.

“The system has failed our children and it is our responsibility to uphold the treaties and as a mother and a tribal citizen I see the value in this curriculum,” said parent Billi Jo Beheler.

However not everyone who provided comments at the committee hearing agreed the bill would be beneficial.

“My being concerned with this bill is that it’s legislative micromanagement of the curriculum and that it would set a precedent. It would open Pandora’s Box really,” said Bismarck resident Andrew Varvel.

Twelve spoke in favor and three spoke in opposition.

The education committee made no decisions on the bill.

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