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ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER: 26

POLICY CODE: IHBEA

 

TO:                  Superintendents of Schools and Principals of Private Schools

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:             February 14, 2005

RE:                   Wabanaki Studies Implementation

The Wabanaki Studies Commission, authorized through H.P. 255 - L.D. 291 (An Act to Require Teaching of Maine Native American History and Culture in Maine’s Schools), has completed its work.   The Maine Department of Education is committed to supporting schools as they implement this law requiring that instruction be provided about the Wabanaki peoples (Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet, and Micmac tribes) of Maine vis-à-vis:

It should be noted that Wabanaki Studies is not a course, or isolated lesson plans.   Instead, Wabanaki Studies should embed units of learning that are part of local comprehensive education plans, which are prerequisite to school approval. Wabanaki Studies may be integrated across the content areas of Maine’s Learning Results.   The specific content, the grade levels, the materials, and the intensity or method of instruction for meeting this requirement are locally determined. Currently, some sample units of learning and assessments are under revision and will be posted to the Wabanaki Center website (below) once completed.   

Education specialists at the Maine Department of Education will continue to collaborate in their efforts with regard to professional development, and to access to resources through the Wabanaki Center of the University of Maine and Wabanaki intertribal government.   Schools are encouraged to seek out resources and links at the Wabanaki Center website based at the University of Maine: www.umaine.edu/ld291 .   The Department will post additional resource links at www.maine.gov/education/esl as they become available.   In addition, reviews of the published literature on Native peoples may be found at www.oyate.org/books-to-avoid/index.html , a site maintained by a Native organization that reviews books for authenticity about Indian peoples.

For further information regarding the Commission’s work or advice in implementing this initiative contact nancy.mullins@maine.gov , (624-6772) or   Maureen Smith, chair of the Wabanaki Studies Commission at maureen.e.smith@umit.maine.edu (581-4450).