Native American Heritage Month Resources for Teachers

South Dakota Department of Education/Office of Indian Education This image is part of the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards, developed in 2007 as part of the Indian Education Act.

Without guidance, too many teachers may celebrate Native American Heritage Month in the only ways they know how:

Paper bag vests and feathers, classroom pow wows, and discussions on who Indians were.

So, we have culled a list of resources for teachers to help expand their horizons to go beyond the stereotypes, and really teach their students the true history of the Native people of this country.

Feel free to print this out and give it to your kid’s teachers.

Gaining Cultural Perspective

Included is a table that examines cultural perspectives, a must-see for all non-Native teachers. While the curriculum is called, “Native American and Hispanic,” researchers are recognizing that most, if not all, minority perspectives tend to reflect indigenous worldviews, which is very different from the Euro-American perspective.

Regional Resources

American Indian and Indigenous Education Links from Northern Arizona University, which contains curriculum relevant to several Native nations individually and nationally

Lesson Plans And Curriculum

Infinity of Nations Smithsonian

Nevada State Board of Education: History and Contemporary Lifestyles of the Northern Paiute, Southern Paiute, Washoe and Western Shoshone Curriculum Guide

All Things Cherokee: From Art and Architecture to History and more

Full Curriculum for all grades, Washington State

Media: Videos and Audio Tapes

Vision Maker Media produces educational videos and documentaries, most on current themes, many of which appear on PBS stations across the country.

The Cherokee Nation produces videos that feature elders who speak about root medicine cures, culture, dance, art, architecture, and growing up Cherokee in the early 20th century.

Editor’s note: This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it is a good start for any teacher looking to expand their knowledge of Native nations.