Tom W. Smith is the Education Specialist for Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. He comes to the team with over ten years of experience working with tribal student populations. He began his career teaching elementary school in Colorado, while serving as a seasonal Park Ranger at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument on the Crow Reservation in Montana. In 2013, Tom assumed the Lead Ranger position at Bighorn Canyon NRA which is also located on the Crow Reservation. For the next few years, he built strong relationships between the National Park Service, respected elders, and the local education institutions on or near the reservation. Through this partnership, thousands of students received tribal perspectives on history, traditions and customs, and material culture—all delivered by tribal members. This partnership continues to flourish today, as even more indigenous and non-indigenous students are given the opportunity to learn about the rich past American Indians have known for thousands of years.
As the program manager for Honoring Tribal Legacies, Tom provides technical assistance in the development and implementation of the HTL foundations and curricula. Tom works closely with teacher preparatory programs at colleges and universities, state departments of education, and teachers themselves, as we disseminate the HTL frameworks into classrooms across America. His primary goal is to support the integration of HTL into classrooms, and give as many students as possible the opportunity to learn about the Indigenous perspectives and experiences of yesterday and today.