top of page



The Palm Springs Unified School District and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians have collaborated on the creation and launch of highly successful elementary, middle, and high-school Native American Studies study-units.  The curriculum project -- conceived and proposed by The Foundation and funded by the Tribe -- was recognized nationally with the “Honoring Nations” award given by the American Indian Economic Development Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.


Designed to convey the history, culture, and traditions of the Valley’s native inhabitants in their own words, without appropriation, ethnic bias, or prejudice, the project represents a unique partnership among a public school district, a nonprofit foundation, and a local tribe that can serve as a model for other regions of the country with significant indigenous populations.



“We could not be more grateful for, or proud of, this unique partnership between the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and Palm Springs Unified.  It serves as a shining example of what can be accomplished through teamwork, and the beneficiaries are our district students.” 


-- Dr. Mike Swize, Superintendent of Schools

“As educators and community leaders we have a responsibility to raise the next generation of innovators, decision makers, game changers, and leaders.  We are doing this was by working side by side with Agua Caliente staff and Tribal Council to offer a curriculum that children can relate to, understand, and ultimately value the rest of their lives.  We mustn’t forget that one  function of education is breaking down barriers and building bridges so that communities can prosper and thrive.” 


-- Ellen Goodman, Director, The Foundation for the Palm Springs Unified School District

“Tribes across the United States should take a close look at this Agua Caliente project,” Pipestem adds. “Tribes are wanting and needing better relations with the communities in which they live and have dealings. The way that Agua Caliente has been able to work with the local community and Palm Springs Unified is a model. I am impressed and inspired.”


-- Wilson Pipestem, Board of Governors, Honoring Nations Project

Related Articles

bottom of page