FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lovell Overlie
Phone: (701) 500-6337
Email: [email protected]
MHA Nation Looking Forward to the Continued Development and Implementation of Senate Bill 2304
NEW TOWN, ND (April 30, 2021)–A historic bill that will require North Dakota public and nonpublic school to teach Native American history in their curriculums passed recently in the North Dakota Senate in a resounding victory for tribal communities, leaders, students and educators.
The bill has been supported strongly by Representative Ruth Buffalo (D District 27, Fargo), who was born in Mandaree and is a member of the MHA Nation. Rep. Buffalo provided testimony on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of the Senate Bill 2304 and she was very active in gathering other legislative support and testimonies. The MHA Nation also provided both written and oral support for the bill.
Senate Bill 2304 was first introduced and co0sponosred in January by North Dakota State Senators Joan Heckman (Dist 23) of New Rockford and Richard Marcellais (Dist 9) of Belcourt.
Governor Doug Burgum, MHA Nation Chairman Mark Fox, Rep, Buffalo, Sen. Marcellais, and Sen. Heckaman, other state legislators and North Dakota Native American students gathered together las week to celebrate the passing of the bill at the State Capital in Bismarck.
At a special reception on Wednesday evening at the ND Heritage Center and State Museum, Rep. Buffalo provided some detailed history and some of the hurdles the bill encountered but that with the unity and perseverance, the bill is now law. Buffalo also was able to express her appreciation at the event to the many individuals and organizations involved in supporting and lobbyig for the passage of the bill.
With SB 2304 now part of the North Dakota Century Code and law, the implementation of the mandate will begin in earnest with planning and curriculum development. The bill mandates that public and nonpublic schools in ND include a history of the impacts to Native American tribes, tribal history, tribal sovereignty, and treat rights as a unity of the US History in their curriculums. The instruction will have an emphasis on all federally-recognized tribes in the state. “The MHA Nation eagerly looks forward to working with Representative Buffalo as she takes the lead in developing this beneficial program”, said Chairman Mark Fox