American Indian Curriculum Services (AICS) - Teacher Education Center

The American Indian Curriculum Services Office is now housed in the School of Education's Teacher Education Center.  AICS is designed to provide faculty, staff, and students in the School of Education with information on Wisconsin’s American Indian history, culture, and tribal sovereignty.

Omar Poler (Mole Lake Sokaogon Ojibwe) is the American Indian Curriculum Services (AICS) coordinator.  Omar provides support for integrating American Indian Studies into PK-16 education, including the instruction of the history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of the 12 First Nations of Wisconsin.  Additionally, Omar provides place-based teaching in learning through UW-Madison First Nations Cultural Landscape Tours offered to pre-service teachers, PK-12 classes, UW-Madison faculty, staff, and students, and non-profit groups.

One outstanding resource is the website, a collection of resources that provides educators and pre-service teachers accurate and authentic educational materials for teaching about the American Indian Nations of Wisconsin.

The office was originally created by "Act 31" legislation which emerged from the recommendation of the 1984 Ad Hoc Commission on Racism, which convened to address the racism and ignorance demonstrated towards American Indians over treaty hunting and fishing rights. Act 31 charges the state of Wisconsin with creating a curriculum for grades 4-12 on American Indian treaty rights. It includes mandates for school programming to give students an understanding of different value systems, cultures, and human relations. 

Through Act 31, schools are required to teach American Indian studies at least three times throughout a student’s K-12 career and to maintain instructional materials which appropriately reflect diverse cultures. The Act's greatest impact on programs at the University of Wisconsin, is that each teacher seeking a license from the state must have instruction in American Indian history, culture and tribal sovereignty. 

Meeting the requirement of Act 31 is more than an obligation for certification; it represents our university’s commitment to serve our diverse communities and the American Indian tribes and bands who reside within its borders. The Act 31 Coordinator connects with various partners in the School of Education and across the State of Wisconsin to develop the Act 31 implementation plan for the School of Education.

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