Nkwusm Family

Changing Seasons Curriculum

~~The Changing Seasons Curriculum has been developed and implemented as an innovative tool created to promote, nourish and protect the voice of the Salish and Pend d’Oreille People.  The school is a complete educational academic experience dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Salish Language.  The curriculum is translated into the Salish Language and the children are then instructed in their Native tongue.


The Changing Seasons Curriculum will allow us to support our teachers and elders in their efforts to pass the Salish Language and life ways to our children while ensuring that generally accepted academic standards are met.  The Changing Season Curriculum is directly related to our goal of educating our children through the Salish Language as it provides a critical educational and cultural tool for our instructors to use throughout the year.  It is also an important training and support mechanism for our language specialists.  These individuals bring a unique depth of knowledge to the instruction of the Salish Language, and the Changing Seasons Curriculum gives them the opportunity to instruct our children in their native tongue while using culturally relevant materials.


It is the goal of our school and the curriculum to not only promote the language, but to strengthen each child’s knowledge and appreciation of his/her tribal heritage while instilling the cultural values and wisdom necessary for these young people to become leaders in their communities, families, the tribe and beyond.  In order to succeed in this ever-changing world, we all need to tap into those resources and opportunities that give us sustenance and strength. We recognize that these young children must be able to apply the traditional and cultural knowledge they gain to the contemporary world and its many challenges and opportunities.  We also believe they are not separate – one goes with the other.  Hour history helps define us – who we are and who we can become.  We hope these children will take the very best of their traditional cultural heritage and apply it to create the very best future for themselves and others.


The Changing Seasons Curriculum is a holistic, environmental and cultural avenue to educate young children in the Salish Language while fostering an awareness of where they live, who they are, their existence in the web of life and respect and appreciation for the natural world.  By using the natural environment to educate young children, learning is not only fun, but becomes much more relevant.  The experiences gained by using this holistic approach throughout the curriculum allows educators the opportunity to tie together the different subject areas in a much more meaningful way.

The strength of our curriculum comes from inter-weaving the four main principles of Empowerment, Holistic Development, Family/Community and Relationships, thus forming the foundation of our school.  It is through our curriculum development process, implementation, evaluation and assessment that the achievement of the goals of each theme in the curriculum will be facilitated and evaluated.  A unique pattern followed by our Salish ancestors through the changing Seasons will be developed incorporating the trails of our Salish life ways, the songs from voices past and the dance steps to the beat of the drum.

Revitalizing the voices of the past through ongoing educational programs that benefit our future leaders will strengthen the link between the past, present and future of the Salish World.  We will continue our efforts to educate our children in their Native Language while strengthening these links to form a chain of pride, respect, wisdom and dignity.