Wisconsin Act 31 in PK-16 Education




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Wisconsin Education Act 31 refers to the statutory requirement that all school districts provide instruction in the history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of the twelve American Indian nations and tribes in the state. WisconsinAct31.org is meant to support educators and librarians in identifying and collecting instructional materials to support Act 31. 

WI Historical Society image of the Symbolic Petition of Chippewa Chiefs  



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 Exemplar Teacher Perspectives:

Lori Mueller in her class room with  Video still of Jeff Ryan Video still of Paui Rykken

             Lori Mueller                                   Jeff Ryan                             ​              Paul Rykken



 Image still of J P Leary from is Act 31 video     Image still of Aaron Bird Bear from his Act 31 video

   Teacher Education Program Perspectives:  J P Leary | Aaron Bird Bear

Four Approaches
  1. Learn about the 12,000 year span of human history of the Great Lakes, including the 12 contemporary nations and explore personal schemas & enduring stereotypes of American Indians
  2. Receive instruction in the scope & language of Act 31 along with history, culture & sovereignty of WI Indian nations
  3. Analyze & critique the approaches of curriculum and materials
  4. Modify or create curriculum addressing Act 31 and reflect through portfolios 


Act 31 Coalition

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. 



12 American ​Indian Nations
of Wisconsin



​Act 31 Across WIsconsin

  • The state of Wisconsin was charged with creating a curriculum for grades 4-12 on American Indian treaty rights. It included a mandate for school programming to give students an understanding of different value systems, cultures, and human relations. 
  • Schools are required to teach American Indian studies at least 3 times throughout a student’s K-12 career and must maintain instructional materials which appropriately reflect diverse cultures.


Act 31 on the UW Campus

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.


News and Media Resources

The following links are to media resources, television, and radio that covers news and entertainment for and about American Indian nations and tribal communities across Wisconsin, the United States, and Canada.