New Website Aims To Help Educators Teach About Wisconsin Tribes

UW Coordinator Says Law Mandating Education About Wisconsin's Native Americans Goes 'Unfunded And Unenforced'

Screenshot by Erik Lorenzsonn

A new website has been launched to help educators teach their students about Wisconsin’s Native American tribes.

In a survey last year, more than two-thirds of the state’s teachers said they didn’t have the proper resources to teach their students about Wisconsin’s tribes. WisconsinAct31.org has been created to fill that gap.

Educating public school students about Wisconsin’s American Indian nations is mandatory under Act 31, which was passed more than 20 years ago. University of Wisconsin-Madison American Indian Curriculum Services Coordinator Aaron Bird Bear said that despite the law, instruction has been lacking.

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“Act 31 is an unfunded and unenforced expectation,” he said.

Bird Bear says the website provides free lesson plans to help teachers integrate information on Wisconsin tribes into their curriculum.

“Understanding the deeper human story of this place advances the learning goals we have for our citizens today,” he said.

The website is hosted by the UW-Madison School of Education.