Wendy Sampson teaching Klallam language as student Antonio Martinez takes notes. This year, Wendy took a teaching position in the Port Angeles School District to continue the work of her predecessor and mentor, Jamie Valadez, teaching Klallam language.

Wendy Sampson teaching Klallam language as student Antonio Martinez takes notes. This year, Wendy took a teaching position in the Port Angeles School District to continue the work of her predecessor and mentor, Jamie Valadez, teaching Klallam language.

PASD marks Native American Heritage Month by celebrating the long partnership with Klallam Tribe

Government-to-government relationship nurtures education for, and about, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

The Port Angeles School District has a long standing relationship with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. In 1998, the two organizations created and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to make a formal government-to-government relationship.

“We are proud of the government-to-government relationship with PASD as most Districts do not have this level of understanding and communication,” said Tribal Chairwoman Frances Charles during the Nov. 10, 2021 board meeting. “Our Tribal staff works incredibly hard to support the needs of Native students. They provide daily check-ins and are a constant presence in their lives to make sure they succeed.”

Maurice Charles and Ashley Pitchford with Dry Creek Students on Native American Day, learning about Lower Elwha Klallam culture.

Maurice Charles and Ashley Pitchford with Dry Creek Students on Native American Day, learning about Lower Elwha Klallam culture.

How PASD and LEKT work together to provide stronger education for all

  • Restoring and sharing the Klallam language. PASD is proud to partner with OSPI and LEKT to support the LEKT Language Program across the District. Jonathan Arakawa, Harmony Arakawa, Carmen Watson-Charles, Wendy Sampson, Angelina Sosa and Ashley Pitchford received District grants to continue their education to be Klallam language certified. This year, Wendy took a teaching position in the PASD to continue the work of her predecessor and mentor, Jamie Valadez, helping the next generation of language learners.
  • Professional development. On Nov. 1, 2021 PASD held a professional learning day for all teachers and paraeducators. Among the speakers was the District’s new Native American Liaison, Carmen Watson-Charles, who shared the history of the Klallam people, her ancestors’ struggles, traditions and practices for living off the land throughout the Olympic Peninsula.
  • Native American Day at Dry Creek Elementary. On Nov. 2 Dry Creek Elementary celebrated Native American Day with drumming, singing, storytelling, beading, weaving and carving. Members from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe shared their stories, traditions, and Klallam Language. Thank you and háʔnəŋ cn to the volunteers who made this special day possible.
  • Cultural conversations. SMS Stem-X Global Teacher Dan Lieberman and Jonathan Arkawa lead a weekly Sharing Circle where students learn and discuss topics including the impacts of Native mascots, the history of Native American boarding schools and other topics. In addition, every PASD board meeting begins with a land acknowledgment — the school board operates on the traditional territory of the Coast Salish people, specifically the Klallam tribes, who have reserved territory rights to the land. The board thanks these caretakers of the land, who have lived and continue to live here since Time Immemorial.
  • New strategies and supports. Work continues on the Since Time Immemorial curriculum, and the PASD is committed to increased identification of Native American students as Highly Capable Learners. They’ve also implemented the “Handle with Care” program which benefits all students. If a youth has a stressful or traumatic encounter, loved ones or first responders can notify the school to “handle the student with care” while keeping details of the event confidential. PASD consults with The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe to provide education to staff, families, and students with the expertise of Klallam/Native educators. Native American Interventionists Jessica Elofson and Reba Cornelson are Elwha members and are employed by the School District to provide daily support to students in the classroom.

“PASD is grateful for the relationship and trust the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe has bestowed upon our District. We are committed to bringing forth and advocating for truth, reconciliation, and healing, working in consultation with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe,” said Superintendent Marty Brewer.

To learn more, visit portangelesschools.org, follow PASD on Facebook, or visit elwha.org.

Jonathan Arakawa shares a story board with late Elwha Elder Ramona. The Port Angeles School District has a long standing relationship with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, and celebrated that strong relationship during National Native American Heritage Month.

Jonathan Arakawa shares a story board with late Elwha Elder Ramona. The Port Angeles School District has a long standing relationship with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, and celebrated that strong relationship during National Native American Heritage Month.

 

More in Local Marketplace

Sydney Roberts attended Peninsula College through the Running Start Program, gaining valuable skills which helped her pursue a degree in medicine.
How Sydney Roberts built a foundation for medical school, and success, at PC

I am grateful for Peninsula College and the opportunities it afforded me,… Continue reading

Visit Vespertine Boutique at 914 Water St. in Port Townsend, or get in touch at 360-344-2654 or info@vespertineboutique.com.
Intimate assistive tech for people with disabilities

“At some point in their lives, most people will either have a… Continue reading

Visit Price Ford Lincoln in Port Angeles for a great selection of all-wheel-drive vehicles, including this rugged Bronco.
How all-wheel-drive keeps drivers steady in the snow

Port Angeles Ford dealer has excellent selection of vehicles for all types of weather

The RE/MAX Prime team in Sequim supports homebuyers and sellers throughout the Olympic Peninsula.
In real estate, local knowledge offers a Prime distinction

RE/MAX Prime’s approach is simple: Exceptional care yields exceptional results. Liz Parks,… Continue reading

The M.V. Coho has carried millions of cars and passenger in its 60 years of service.
Black Ball Ferry sails again

The Black Ball Ferry Line is sailing again after 18-months of suspended… Continue reading

Jaime Jaynes, owner of Vespertine Boutique in Port Townsend.
Intimate healthcare in the new year

Self-care is more than just bubble baths and getting enough sleep. Here… Continue reading

First Fed team members have enjoyed volunteering their time to work with Habitat Clallam's projects.
Building Community through Affordable Housing

Building affordable housing from the ground up is at the heart of… Continue reading

Jonathan Arakawa shares a story board with late Elwha Elder Ramona. The Port Angeles School District has a long standing relationship with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, and celebrated that strong relationship during National Native American Heritage Month.
PASD marks Native American Heritage Month by celebrating the long partnership with Klallam Tribe

Government-to-government relationship nurtures education for, and about, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

Grand prize winner Jaidyn Backus was drawn to take the photo when she saw the rock stack at Salt Creek. “I loved seeing how they made the rocks balance so flawlessly.”
Local Talent Featured in Proudly PNW Calendar from First Fed

Each year, First Fed holds a photo contest to select stunning images… Continue reading

Vespertine Boutique offers clothing, books, workshops and products to support feminine wellness, including pelvic floor health.
The importance of pelvic floor health

Understand the causes, symptoms and potential solutions to pelvic floor issues

Price Ford
Port Angeles auto dealer gets you ready for winter

We all want to do what we can to keep our families… Continue reading