News & Events


April 12, 2013

The Retirement of Denny Hurtado

Denny HurtadoThe Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI), would like to take a moment and recognize the retirement of Denny Hurtado.  Mr. Hurtado, is an enrolled member of the Skokomish Indian Tribe and formerly held the position as its tribal chairman.  He is retiring from the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction as the Director of Indian Education, a position he has held for 12 years.

Mr. Hurtado, has worked with 29 of the tribes that reside here in Washington State and led the creation and start of a groundbreaking curriculum geared towards educators in elementary, middle and high schools called, “Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State.”  Mr. Hurtado, hopes to teach students that “Indians had sovereignty before signing treaties with the U.S.; they have their own tribal governments and have the power and authority to govern their own people and land.”

Denny Hurtado at the IWRI Opening and Dedication in 2007.

Denny Hurtado at the IWRI Opening and Dedication in 2007.

With the influence of Native American educators, like Denny Hurtado, Native students can grow and feel they have a Native community that supports them in both place identity and curriculum.  This allows students to see they have a “living” space among the academic community that can contribute to their voices surrounding contemporary issues in Native American education.
Thank you, Denny Hurtado, for your pioneering efforts, leadership, passion and dedication in American Indian education!