Native American courses may be a requirement soon

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Classes on Native American culture are available as an option in North Dakota's public schools, but students may not have a choice soon.

Right now learning about the culture of indigenous people is an elective, but the Office of Indian Affairs hopes to make it a required course.

The Department of Public Instruction and Office of Indian Affairs created the class as part of the North Dakota Native American Essential Understanding project.

In the optional course students study civics such as treaties, policy, and government as well as story-telling and the values of Native American people.

One of the goals of the course is to break stereotypes of Indian culture.

“Our history has probably been most photographed, documented, written about than all of the other ethnic groups in America. Some of that has been written by non-native folks. So here's a chance, an opportunity, for us to tell the true story of who we are,” said Scott Davis, commissioner for Indian Affairs.

You can find some of the lessons and course material on the project website -