Native American Education Program

Native American Education Program logo

The PSESD Native American Education Program partners with four Pierce County school districts to provide cultural, social-emotional, and educational support to students and families with Native American heritage.

The program works with over 600 K-12 students in the following school districts:

  • Franklin Pierce School District
  • Peninsula School District
  • Sumner School District
  • University Place School District

Programming includes small group visits with students during the school day to learn and talk about Native history, contemporary issues, and culture and what that looks like and feels like for our urban Native youth. Staff who work with high school students work on college and career readiness, graduation support, scholarship hunting, and letters of recommendations.

 Our main goals are designed to:

  • Increase the knowledge and awareness of cultural values, traditions and contemporary issues
  • Encourage and support post-secondary education for all students
  • Instill student pride in their Native American heritage
  • Encourage parent involvement in program and school activities
  • Support each school in their awareness of Indian Education including Native student learning styles
  • Teach Native history and culture to the general student population via classroom presentations, assemblies, and staff development.

School financial support: The program has secured funding from the Puyallup Tribe and Muckleshoot Tribe to help support students and families with school-related costs that come up during the year. If a student/family is in need the program has allotted approximately $100 per year for credit retrieval, yearbooks, ASB fees, sports costs. Contingent on fund availability.

Family Nights: The program holds monthly or bi-monthly family night events for families and students to all come together as a Native community for a free dinner, arts and craft projects, and guest presenters.

Since Time Immemorial curriculum trainings: The program works with districts to train teachers on the OSPI required Native American STI curriculum at all grade levels

Award Winners


Contact information:

Program voice message line 425-778-7963

Manager - Jason LaFontaine (Turtle Mountain Chippewa)

Overall program manager, also provides direct service student support in UPSD and Peninsula school districts

K-8 Coordinator Teresa Washington (Lummi)

Serving Franklin Pierce and Sumner and school districts

K-12 Coordinator – Jason LaDucer (Turtle Mountain Chippewa)

Serving high school students in Franklin Pierce and Sumner and K-8 in Peninsula & UPSD districts