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TO:             Superintendents of Schools

FROM:       Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:        December 9, 2005

RE:             Reminder – Teaching of Maine Native American History and Culture in Maine’s Schools

            The Maine Department of Education is committed to supporting school administrative units (SAUs) as they comply with Title 20-A MRSA§4706(2), which requires the teaching of Maine studies including student instruction on the Wabanaki peoples (Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet, and Micmac tribes) of Maine. 

            Earlier this year Administrative Letter #26, dated February 14, 2005, outlined this requirement.  It should be noted that Maine Native American studies is not a course or isolated lesson plan; rather it should be embedded in units of learning that are part of local comprehensive education plans – a prerequisite of school approval.  The specific content, grade levels, materials, and the intensity or method of instruction for meeting this requirement should be set at the local level by each individual SAU.

            For further information regarding this requirement please visit the link to Administrative Letter #26, contact Jacqueline Soychak at the Maine Department of Education at , or contact Maureen Smith, chair of the Wabanaki Studies Commission at

            Thank you.