Native American Teacher Resources

Teaching with a Culturally Responsive LensNative American Education

With National Native American Heritage Month and Thanksgiving quickly approaching, we know many of you will take this time as an opportunity to talk about early America in your classroom. 

As part of SoWashCo's commitment to Culturally Responsive Instruction, please reflect on your practice as it relates to teaching about this period in history. Below is information and resources to guide you through your reflection.

Our Native American Cultural Liaison, Brittney Amitrano, can also be a great resource for you. 

Upcoming Events

Celebrating the Minnesota Native American Lives Series - Online

March 25, 2021 

Minnesota Native American Lives SeriesCelebrate the Minnesota Native American Lives Series! MHC and the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council have partnered to publish three new books written for 3rd-5th graders, all included on the American Indians in Children’s Literature Best Books list of 2020. This series shares the biographies of Dakota and Ojibwe leaders: Ella Cara Deloria, Charles Albert Bender, and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. Hear from youth who have read the books as they share their favorite parts and engage the authors in discussion. This lively book launch will include book giveaways and a Q&A session with the series authors. Register online here

Resources to Use Year-Round

Teaching Students About Thanksgiving

The reason why it's so important to stay away from certain graphics, clipart and descriptions is that people still tend to think we all look a certain way. A lot of the time it leads non-Natives to think Indigenous people look a certain way today or that they will wear their sacred feathers everyday.

Also, instead of saying "Indians" which is an inaccurate term, try using 'the Dakota people,' 'the Ojibwe people,' 'the Wampanoag people,' etc. when teaching about Minnesota history and Thanksgiving.

Native educators say Thanksgiving lessons can be accurate, respectful and still fun. Read this article to learn how.

Teacher Reflection Questions

These questions are to help your critically analyze the content and curriculum in your class:

  • Why am I teaching about Thanksgiving?
  • Does my curriculum provide the European colonists and Native American perspective in a culturally appropriate way?
  • Do I know that I am teaching the factual history of Thanksgiving?
  • Does my curriculum discuss Native American perspectives about Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving Resources

Native American Education