Dozens gathered at the Heritage Center in Bismarck Thursday to celebrate a new bill signed into law.
It adds Native American education requirements to North Dakota school curriculum. Rep. Ruth Buffalo wrote the bill, which had overwhelming support in the legislature, and from Gov. Doug Burgum, who signed it into law last week.
“North Dakota now is one of very few states that have this curriculum into law. It’s exciting, and we’re hopeful for the future. It’s just a way to help bridge communities. The more we knew, the less fearful we will be, so we’re just looking forward to a lot of good outcomes in the future,” Rep. Buffalo said.
President of the Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College Twyla Baker attended the ceremony and said it’s a good move for North Dakota.
“I want people to know how groundbreaking this is, not just for our state, but also for the country quite honestly. Not enough Indigenous narratives are being told, and that kind of contributes to our erasure, and that contributes to a whole lot of issues, so this is a huge step,” Baker said.
The bill officially takes effect this August, with the graduation requirements taking effect in 2025.