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Letter from the Secretary
SD Department of Education Oct. 2016  

Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards Bringing Native American culture into your schools

The Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards are state content standards intended to help guide South Dakota K-12 educators in teaching about Native American history and culture. Oceti Sakowin [oh-CHEH-tee SHAW-koh-we] means “Seven Council Fires” and refers collectively to the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people. All South Dakota schools are encouraged to incorporate this learning throughout the school year, across all grade levels and content areas.

In summer 2016, a team of individuals, including Native American elders, reviewed and proposed revisions to the OSEU. This team also developed social studies lessons aligned to the OSEU. These lessons can be accessed on the WoLakota Project website.

Upcoming trainings will also help teachers weave the OSEU together with social studies standards to create relevant lessons for all students. These trainings will allow teachers to begin to look at and work with both the newly revised OSEU and newly adopted social studies standards. Graduate credit will be available. Trainings will be offered in Watertown and Rapid City.


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