IEFA Courses

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In this course, participants will learn inquiry-based teaching and learning strategies to use in their classrooms, and apply these strategies to explore a contemporary American Indian issue. This course requires participants to be self-directed and highly motivated, a background in inquiry or American Indian issues is not necessary. 

his course is designed for educators needing an introduction to or wishing to expand their existing knowledge of Montana’s Indian Education for All Law (Montana Code Annotated 20-1-501 1999) and the Seven Essential Understandings Regarding Montana Indians. Educators of all grades and content areas will build background knowledge and develop lesson plans that focus on and dig deeper into each Essential Understanding. These lessons are intended to be used in participants’ classrooms. The primary texts are:


  • Keeping Promises: What is Sovereignty

  • Phi Delta Kappan: The Professional Journal for Education, November 2006 (read entire issue) (Erin can download the PDF versions)

  • Who will Tell my Brother? by Marlene Carvel

  • Do all Indians Live in Tipis (pick and choose questions and scan into PDFs)

  • Lies my Teachers Told Me by James W. Loewen

  • Assorted articles and internet sources provided by the instructor


Through readings, discussion forums and examination of high-quality teaching materials, participants will explore a variety of literature, articles and professional teaching materials and develop one lesson plan each week of the course and a final project (two for graduate credit) for the immediate integration of IEFA into their classrooms.



Participants will develop a greater understanding of Essential Understandings 4,5, and 7. Topics explored will include the six federal Indian policy eras, a tribe's right to determine tribal memberships, forms of tribal government, and treaty rights. Participants should have some prior knowledge of Indian Education for All and the Essential Understandings Regarding Montana Indians. 

This course focuses on the Montana Tribal Histories: Educators' Resource Guide and Companion DVD that was developed by Dr. Julie Cajune of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes. This resource guide is a result of the Montana Tribal Histories Project completed by all seven tribal colleges and represents tribal perspectives and voices.

The text used in this book club targets high-school-aged and adult readers; however, teachers of all grades and content areas will build background knowledge and learn instructional strategies that will facilitate the integration of Indian Education for All. 

This course is designed as an opportunity for participants to explore OPI instructional units as well as other IEFA texts. Participants will explore a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts for use in grades 9-12. Most resources are place-based, either focused on Montana tribes or created by Montana Indian authors. Through extensive readings in a variety of genres, discussion, and completion of instructional activities/examination of accurate and authentic Native American fiction and nonfiction texts, participants will develop instructional strategies and lesson plans for immediate integration of IEFA into their classrooms. This course is rigorous and requires the participant to access a number of texts through their school or public library or to purchase them from WM-PLC or bookstores.