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American Indian Studies Program

Students with teacher

American Indian Studies Program

Aaniin / Aho / Bozho / Koolamalsi / Pōsōh / Shekóli

Hello or Greetings in Ojibwe / Ho-Chunk / Potawatomi / Mahican / Menominee / Oneida

The American Indian Studies Program exists primarily to assist with the implementation of the curricular requirements in the areas of American Indian history, culture, and tribal sovereignty. The program is also responsible for American Indian Language and Culture Education.

Program staff:

David O’Connor finds personal reflection and storytelling essential to learning about Wisconsin’s First Nations

As American Indian Studies Consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, David O’Connor connects with educators to provide support for their understanding of history, culture, and tribal sovereignty.

2020 Preschool Development Grant (PDG) for American Indian Language Revitalization

The 2020 Preschool Development Grant (PDG) for American Indian Language Revitalization from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) will distribute monies for the new Young Learners Program. These grants are to be distributed on a competitive one-time basis to tribal early childhood education programs or tribal Head Start programs serving Wisconsin tribal communities. The goals of the program are improving the transition to elementary school, reducing achievement gaps, and improving academic outcomes, while addressing the linguistic and cultural needs of students from American Indian nations and communities in Wisconsin. Funds may be used between the time of the award of the grant to Thursday, December 31, 2020 and funds are not allowed to be carried over beyond that date unless a no cost extension is awarded to the Department of Children and Families. The grants funds will be used to support start up and collaboration costs (e.g., materials, curriculum development, educator training or professional development). To continue the program, awardees will need to obtain other funding.

Application materials can be downloaded at the following two links (either in Word or PDF) :

The grant application is due Wednesday, July 1, 2020. For best results, download the grant application rather than filled out in the browser. Not all features will work as intended when opened in a browser. For more information, please contact:

David J. O'Connor, Education Consultant
American Indian Studies Program
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Telephone: (608) 267-2283


American Indian Students and Items of Religious and Cultural Significance

The following two letters were sent in May 2019 and September 2017 that addresses an issue that has come up repeatedly in conversations with tribal nations: American Indian students being prohibited from wearing items of religious and cultural significance.
As noted in each letter, it is our hope that schools or districts take this opportunity to review their policies and reach out to the sovereign tribal nations near them.
If you have any questions about either of these two letters above, feel free to contact David O’Connor, American Indian Studies Consultant, at or (608)267-2283.

Upcoming Events

Calendar page icon Local, Regional, State, and National Events Related to American Indian Studies & Education 

There are a variety of local, regional, state and national organizations that sponsor conferences, meetings, and trainings that may be of interest to those working in the area of American Indian studies or education. These professional development opportunities range from one day to a week long, the items listed on the icon or the Calendar of Events section above provide a rich diversity of events and opportunities for those interested in this work.

For questions about this information, contact David O'Connor (608) 267-2283