Native American Education
The Port Angeles School District (PASD) recognizes the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe as a Sovereign Nation that values its ancestors, elders, children, and all members. The District values our relationship with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (LEKT). In 1989, the Centennial Accord between the Federally Recognized 26 Indian Tribes in Washington State and the State of Washington paved the way for the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe to govern its relationships with other entities, such as the PASD. In 1998, LEKT and PASD created and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create a government-to-government relationship here on the Klallam Nations' ancestral land.
In the 2020-21 school year, the District reported 494 Native American students attending our school district. In celebration of our government-to-government accomplishments with our local Tribe, The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the Port Angeles School District invite you to enjoy this website for students, parents, and educators to find and access resources.
- Treaty Day – January 26
- Proclamation Day – Billy Frank Jr. – March 9
- Native American Day – Always the second Monday of May
- Missing and Murdered Indigenous Person Awareness Day – May 5
- Orange Shirt Day (Residential Boarding School Acknowledgement) – September 30
- Indigenous Peoples' Day – Always the second Monday of October
School District Staff
Summer Cooper, Native American Family Navigator
Carmen Watson-Charles, PASD Native American Liaison
work number: 360-457-8575
I am a Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal member. As the Native American Liaison I am lead on incorporating Since Time Immemorial and work closely with our Lower Elwha Klallam Language Teachers and Lower Elwha Klallam council making sure our MOU agreements are being honored.
Due to funding, low staffing, and a lower number of Native American Students at these locations, unfortunately, we can not provide Native American Education Advocates in all PASD schools. Please contact Carmen Watson-Charles, Native American Liaison, for any assistance.
Collaborating with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe provides services for PASD educators to help build positive relationships by sharing their history, stories, songs, and language. The Lower Elwha Klallam Language Program has collaborated with PASD for many years now, and they have developed a curriculum for K through 12 and are available to visit classrooms.
Government-to-Government Relationship in the works for over 20 years
Annual Board Meetings to acknowledge
Each board meeting starts with a land acknowledgment. We acknowledge that we are on the indigenous lands of Coast Salish people, who have reserved territory rights to this land, specifically the Klallam tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here since Time Immemorial.
On Thursday, November 10, the Board of Directors held the annual Board meeting with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Council to honor our government-to-government relationship. During this time, the Board of Directors and Tribal Council celebrated those awarded a $5000 grant to continue their education to be Klallam language certified. The District Grant is $30,000, and the grant will provide $1666.67 for each recipient each quarter for three quarters.
The Board and Tribal Council also heard from Native staff who work throughout the District teaching Klallam Language, hosting educational programs, and providing student and staff support with our Native American Education Advocates and Liaison teams. The Board expressed their deep gratitude to the Tribe for their time and willingness to strengthen our government-to-government relationship.
The Port Angeles School District is proud to partner with OSPI and LEKT to support the LEKT Language Program across the District and support the recipients in their pursuit of Klallam language certification. This year, recipients received a $5000 grant to continue their education to be Klallam language certified through Peninsula College. The District Grant is $30,000, and the grant will provide $1666.67 for each recipient each quarter for three quarters.
Klallam Language is listed on the Endangered Language list and is in great need for more Klallam Language teachers. This grant allowed the recipients to further their education by taking 2 years of Klallam Language at Peninsula Collage with the esteemed linguist Dr. Tim Montler. Dr. Montler has dedicated over 30 years of studying and developing the Klallam Dictionary and Lessons that are used with in the Port Angeles High School and Stevens Middle School. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the Port Angeles School District is proud to work together ensure the Klallam Language lives on for the next 7 generations.
Recipients of the Tribal Language Grants
- Jonathan Arakawa
- Harmony Arakawa
- Carmen Watson-Charles
- Wendy Sampson
- Angelina Sosa
- Ashley Pitchford
Did you Know...Our collaboration with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is a growing partnership that is more than 20-plus years strong. This government-to-government relationship is unique and leads by example by teaching the local Native American Indigenous Indian language. Other tribes and school districts reach out to the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the Port Angeles School District, asking how we got to where we are today.