HB 1879: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of the Late Senator McCoy

February 8, 2024
Young children sitting in class on carpet raising hands.

In 2015, the Washington State Legislature passed Senate Bill 5433 requiring that the Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State (or other tribally developed curriculum) be taught in all early learning and K-12 schools. 

The curriculum educates youth about tribal history and culture, treaty rights, contemporary tribal and state government institutions and relations, and the contribution of Indian nations to the state of Washington. The curriculum was developed in partnership with tribes and is endorsed by all 29 federally recognized tribes in our state. 

The Legislature is now considering House Bill 1879 to honor the late Senator John McCoy (D-Tulalip) who was the primary advocate of Since Time Immemorial. The bill would add his traditional name – lulilaš (pronounced loot-lee-o-ash) – to the name of the curriculum. This would be the first time that our Legislature would incorporate Lushootseed into state law. 

Senator McCoy was a visionary, leader, and dedicated public servant. It is because of his commitment to education that Washington schools are now required to teach students about tribal sovereignty, while encouraging teachers to connect to and learn about local tribes when developing lesson plans. 

Since Time Immemorial continues to evolve each year, just as tribal nations and communities grow and change over time. Most recently the curriculum was translated into Spanish, decreasing language barriers for children in Washington who speak Spanish as their primary language. 

To learn more about the Since Time Immemorial curriculum, visit the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). For a list of early learning curriculum, visit DCYF's Office of Tribal Relations.