Opinion: School agreement respects Yurok culture
"As Director of the Yurok Tribe’s Education Department, I believe it is necessary for the community to know that the newly ratified agreement between the Del Norte County Unified School District and the ACLU appears to be a solid step in the right direction.

Last week, it was reported that the school district decided to adopt a number of institutional changes geared toward recognizing the importance of Yurok culture, history and language to the local community.

According to the agreement the board is going to introduce Yurok history and language into each school’s curriculum at appropriate grade levels that meet state standards. The district is also going to make sure that all of its staff members are capable of being effective educators in a multicultural setting.

Deliberately omitting our history, language and culture from the school district’s course offerings is a form of marginalization, which has had a negative impact on our students and the native community. Native students and families have felt, and rightly so, that the school district has not recognized the importance of their place in history and in contemporary society. This agreement, if implemented correctly, could effect lasting institutional change that indigenous families have wanted for many decades."

Get the Story:
Jim McQuillen: Good step by schools, ACLU (The Crescent City Daily Triplicate 5/14)

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