The Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 school board discussed some of the efforts being done on Native American curriculum during their fall retreat.

Teaching and Learning Director Dr. Paula Hough, who has recently taken on the task, says she started by seeing what the district has in terms of books on Native Americans.

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Back in 2017, the board approved teaching and learning staff to include local Native American history, religion, culture and contemporary issues in curricular and professional learning in the district. The goal is to have the texts to be used throughout the year and not just something presented during specific times like Indigenous Peoples Day. Hough says they also need to be more culturally responsive to things like the Hollywood-ization of Native Americans.

Manhattan High School Principal Michael Dorst presented on the issue Wednesday saying his hope is to provide a curriculum that covers the represented tribes in the area.

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Board Member Dave Colburn, who was on the board that approved the studies additions, says he is glad they are moving forward with this and getting rid of stereotypes.

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Colburn says even though he was one of the board members who wanted the name changed, he believes it is the moral obligation of the district to teach the community and students about the land, and also used an example of other sports teams and attendees in their division shouting things like “go back to the rez” to further his point about the need for more to be done on the topic.


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