Develop Archeology Curriculum for American Indian Students

May 20, 2022

Responses to this Request for Statements of Interest will be used to identify potential investigators for a project to be funded by the National Park Service Midwest Archeological Center via the Interpretation and Education Fund source. Approximately $21,858.00 is expected to be available to support this project for the base period. 

Type of Award

This project has a defined public purpose and will have substantial NPS involvement, and as a result, it is anticipated that a cooperative agreement through the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU) program will be awarded. Such awards may be administered through a CESU only upon mutual agreement and official authorization by both parties of the acceptance of the application of the CESU Network indirect cost rate (17.5%). 

NOTE: Must be a non-federal partner in the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU) Program to be qualified for consideration. 


This project will create a resource-based curriculum to engage American Indian students in archeology with a focus on building bridges among tribal communities, archeologists, and the National Park Service. We, the Midwest Archeological Center (MWAC), seek a teaching and learning specialist to collaborate with us, in addition to pilot parks and tribal partners, to develop an introduction to professional archeology curriculum for advanced high school or lower-level undergraduate students. The desired product will incorporate the concerns and perspectives of American Indian communities. Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, and Missouri National Recreational River have expressed interest in the project. A cooperative agreement will be used to access an expert in education/curriculum development to lead key project steps.

Brief Description of Anticipated Work

The Cooperator shall accomplish the following tasks, culminating in a developed online curriculum for an introduction to professional archeology course appropriate for advanced high school or lower-level undergraduate students in American Indian communities. 

Background Research, Planning, and Coordination

The Cooperator shall coordinate with MWAC staff members, tribal collaborators, and other NPS park staff as necessary. Development of the curriculum shall include a kick-off meeting, progress reviews, teleconferences/videoconferences, and other communications as appropriate to exchange information, identify data gaps, and coordinate solutions with the MWAC points of contact. 

MWAC has course material for a paraprofessional archeology program, which we offer to National Park Service staff. This material may serve as the basis for the development of an online course, and MWAC staff have the necessary subject matter expertise to advise on technical issues related to archeology. However, this course should also incorporate American Indian perspectives; its content should seek to engage tribal communities and American Indian students who may consider a career in archeology or a related field.

Draft the Curriculum

The desired curriculum should be packaged as an online course, requiring approximately 40 hours to complete. Content should be up-to-date, engaging, and relevant to American Indian communities, confronting areas of concern in which the traditional practice of archeology may be at odds with the beliefs and values of tribal collaborators.

The Cooperator should use their expertise to determine how content should be presented, but the curriculum could include either recorded content (from MWAC staff and/or tribal collaborators) for a completely asynchronous online course or live distance learning components to be scheduled with MWAC outreach staff for a partially synchronous online course.

Pilot the Curriculum

Working with NPS park staff and tribal collaborators, the Cooperator will pilot the curriculum with a select group of students and solicit feedback and formal evaluations from students and educators to be incorporated in the final product.

Deliver Final Curriculum

After incorporating feedback from the pilot course, the Cooperator will provide fully developed curriculum materials for MWAC staff to be implemented in partnership with tribal schools and colleges. 

The candidate selected will be required to prepare a Statement of Work regarding the project to be conducted. The candidate selected will also be required to submit status reports (1-4 per year) each year of the agreement to provide updates and measure progress on project objectives.

Period of Performance

The period of performance for this Cooperative Agreement will be dependent upon the final proposal selected, but it is expected to extend 24 months from the date of award.

Principal Investigator Requirements

At this time, we are only requesting that you demonstrate available qualifications and skills for performing similar or the same type of work. The Cooperator shall provide a project team that demonstrates competence, knowledge, and experience in curriculum development for underserved communities. The project PI must hold an advanced degree in Teaching and Learning, Adult Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Instructional Design/Online Teaching and Learning, or closely related field. Principal Investigators with advanced degrees in American Indian Studies or Anthropology may also be considered if project team members have a demonstrated background in curriculum development. The team shall possess knowledge of and experience in collaborating with tribal communities. Basic knowledge of archeology is preferred, but staff from MWAC will serve as subject matter experts with regard to archeological training, method, and theory. You will be evaluated for a request for a proposal based on the skills and qualifications demonstrated in your SOI.

Materials Requested for the Statement of Interest:

Please provide the following via e-mail attachment to rebecca_wiewe[email protected] (Maximum length: 5 pages, single-spaced, 12 pt. font).

  1. Name, affiliation, and contact information
  2. Brief Statement of Qualifications, including the following: 
    • Biographical Sketch of the PI, 
    • Relevant past projects and clients with brief descriptions of these projects, demonstrating results (including published works),
    • Staff, faculty, or students available to work on this project and their areas of expertise, 
    • A brief description of your approach/strategy for completing the project, including any capabilities to successfully complete the project you may wish to add (e.g., equipment, facilities, software, networking capabilities, etc.). 

Note: We intend to use fiscal year 2022 funds for this project. A budget of $21,858.00 is anticipated to be available for this effort. A detailed study proposal and cost estimate is NOT requested at this time but will be required shortly after an investigator is selected. A portion of the budget should be reserved for consulting services with tribal communities (listed as contracted services on cooperator’s budget).

Review of Statements Received

All statements of interest received will be evaluated by a board comprised of one or more people at the receiving program office who will determine which statement(s) best meet the program objectives. Based on a review of the Statements of Interest received, an investigator or investigators will be invited to prepare a full study proposal and detailed budget, including federal forms (SF424 series). Statements will be evaluated based on the investigator’s specific experience and capabilities in areas related to the project requirements. 

NPS Contact Information:

Please send responses or direct questions to the following NPS personnel:

Rebecca Wiewel, Project Manager

Midwest Archeological Center
Email: [email protected]

Phone: 402-437-5392, Ext. 145

Timeline for Review of Statements of Interest

Review of Statements of Interest for this updated posting will begin June 6, 2022.