ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – Illinois state legislators are taking steps to make sure that indigenous people are the source for the Native American history lessons in school.

State Representative Maurice West (D-Rockford), introduced a bill earlier this month requiring Illinois schools to teach Native American curriculum beginning in the 2023 – 2024 school year. The purpose of the new legislation is to teach Native American curriculum while inspiring students to respect the dignity of all races and peoples.

“This legislation will ensure that our students learn about the Native American experience and contributions to the development of our country,” says West.

The bill maintains steps to guarantee that curriculum developed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will be informed by federally recognized Indigenous tribes and individuals, especially those with ties to Illinois and the Midwest. The curriculum developed by ISBE will be implemented by school districts and will be monitored by the regional superintendent of schools for compliance.

“This legislation is a first step towards ensuring we are teaching our children how to properly respect the heritage and culture of Native Americans,” West adds.

House Bill 4548 was filed on January 13, 2022 and is currently awaiting assignment to a committee.

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February 1, 2022 at 06:52AM