Montana judge upholds suit over Native education requirement

By HALLIE GOLDEN Associated Press

A judge in Montana refused to dismiss a lawsuit Tuesday brought by Native American tribes, parents and students against state education leaders that alleges the state’s unique constitutional requirement to teach students about Native American history and culture has not been upheld.

“It’s shocking to me that we are this many decades down the road, with this many court challenges, this many legislative enactments … that this is where we sit here today in 2023,” said Judge Amy Eddy, who explained she would provide the specific rationale for her ruling in about a month.

The hearing came 50 years after the state’s constitution that embedded this educational requirement took effect. Other states, including Connecticut, Washington, Oregon, California and North Dakota, have committed in recent years to boosting these types of educational requirements, but Montana remains the only one that includes it in its constitution.

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An attorney representing the defendants, which includes the Montana Office of Public Instruction and the Montana Board of Public Education,

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