Resources for Educators

Washington State Council for the Social Studies – Skamania Conference

Thank you to all the 2018 Skamania Conference participants. The 2018 session documents are now available on the WSCSS website. Information about this past year’s conference can be found below. Please continue to check back in for updates on the 2019 conference. 

Featuring the first annual Northwest Social Studies Conference in 2018; the WSCSS, OCSS, and UW Jackson School of International Studies are Building Bridges on the Columbia!

2018 Keynote Speakers

Tom Ikeda (Friday Night Keynote): The founding Executive Director of Densho and the recipient of numerous awards for his historical contributions, Tom Ikeda will discuss how the injustice of the World War II Japanese American Incarceration  happened during a time of fear and how we are seeing similar fears appearing in America today. 2018 marks the 76th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans. Tom will discuss how immigration bans, discriminatory laws, and incarceration in an American concentration camp affected his Gold Star Japanese immigrant grandparents.

Chris Reykdal (Saturday Breakfast Keynote): Social Studies teacher and Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal will talk about how Resurgent Social Studies Knowledge is ubiquitous; our students have access to more content and learning tools than any time in history but struggle to enhance critical thinking and basic civility. It’s time for resurgent social studies to fill that gap!

Walter Parker (Saturday Lunch Keynote): Professor of education and political science at the University of Washington, Walter Parker poses the question of whether education can save Democracy. He answers yes and no. Democracies are the historical exception, not the historical rule (tyranny is the historical rule). Most democracies end when “we the people” elect a demagogue who then dismantles the democracy. This is how democracies typically commit suicide, and it is why the Greeks equated democracy with mob rule—the tyranny of the majority.  So, can education tame the mob? Can it discipline the majority?

Andrea Rodgers (Saturday Night Keynote): Senior Attorney with Our Children’s Trust, Andrea Rodgers will talk about how in 2015, 21 young people from across the United States filed a constitutional climate change lawsuit against the federal government in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. These plaintiffs assert that, in causing climate change, the federal government has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, and has failed to protect essential public trust resources. What are the grounds for their complaint, and the likelihood of its success? How is this legal theory being used in other States, including Washington? In addition to the details and stunning implications of this historic case, Andrea will also share an exciting update on the various youth-brought state lawsuits that Our Children’s Trust also supports.

Location and Date

The conference convened from 1 PM on March 9th to late morning on March 11th, 2018 at Skamania Lodge

1131 SW Skamania Lodge Way, Stevenson, WA 98648


  • The U.W. Jackson School and the Center for Global Studies
  • Washington State Council for the Social Studies
  • Oregon Council for the Social Studies