Sen. Glowiak Hilton

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton is spearheading a measure to make Native American history a requirement for all public elementary and high school students.

“Native American history is American history, and it has been overlooked for far too long,” said Glowiak Hilton (D – Western Springs). “Our history classes should be more representative of our nation’s origins.”

House Bill 1633 would require public schools to make Native American history part of curriculum. Teachings would include the study of the genocide of and discrimination against Native Americans, as well as tribal sovereignty, treaties made between tribal nations and the United States, and the circumstances around forced Native American relocation.

Social studies courses pertaining to American history or government would be required to include a unit of instruction studying the events of the Native American experience and Native American history within the Midwest and Illinois.

Glowiak Hilton has championed other bills in support of Native American heritage this year. Senate Bill 1446 would ensure schools would allow articles of clothing that have cultural of religious significance for its students. This issue was brought to Glowiak Hilton’s attention when a student was denied the ability to walk the stage of his graduation ceremony for wearing Native American regalia on his graduation cap. It passed the Senate in March, and is now in the House for further consideration.

“We need an educated populace that has a nuanced understanding of United States’ history,” said Glowiak Hilton. “We should be encouraging an educated analysis of our past to create a better future.”

House Bill 1633 passed the Senate Wednesday.