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Resources for Accurate Information on Teaching To and About American Indians
Welcome Teachers and Administrators!
We encourage you to teach about American Indians to all populations of students, including our American Indian children. To help our students feel comfortable and to give accurate, respectful information to all students, we offer the resources below. You will find a wealth of information both to teach accurately about Indian tribes in a historical context and also to bring the thriving contemporary Indian world to your students, enabling you to present a balanced view - both historical and contemporary. It is crucial to our students’ well-being and future education that you educate yourself about contemporary American Indians in order to teach about us accurately. We hope that you take advantage of these helpful resources to expand your knowledge base, plan your instruction, and pass them along to your colleagues.
*Throughout these resources, these collective terms may be used interchangeably to refer to the indigenous populations of the United States: American Indian, Indian, Native American, Native, First Nations, First People, indigenous.
- North Carolina State Advisory Council on Indian Education
North Carolina’s Eight State-Recognized Tribes
Learn NC/UNC American Indian Center’s Curriculum Guide,Teaching About North Carolina American Indians: This curriculum guide has tribally-supplied information, useful K-16, that includes great contemporary, as well as historical, information from all eight of North Carolina’s state-recognized tribes. Lesson plans included with a number of the tribes.
Montana Office of Public Instruction Indian Education for All Companion Guides: Common Core Standards Companion Guides with detailed ELA lessons using wonderful Native-based texts. Links to day by day instructions, summaries, background information, guided reading lesson suggestions and assessment suggestions.
Learn NC American Indian Resources: Planning a historical unit on American Indians and not sure where to begin? Learn NC has assembled lesson plans, articles and great websites to help you teach to, and about, America’s First People. *Largely geared toward historical information; teachers will need to supplement with contemporary information.
Contemporary Websites and Publications
American Indians in Children’s Literature: This outstanding blog has great book reviews and commentaries that help teachers and others evaluate books from a Native perspective. Highly recommended to browse this site before using literature in class that includes American Indians.
Indian 101 for Writers: This five-part blog series, appropriate for both writers and educators, looks at writing (and teaching) about American Indians and gives resources to accurately and respectfully do so.
Indian Country Today Media Network:Indian Country Today is Indian Country’s online news that gives information on top issues in Indian culture today. It is helpful to anyone teaching or learning about First Peoples to be aware of contemporary Indian issues.
Native Appropriations: Native Appropriations is a forum for discussing representation of Native peoples, including stereotypes, cultural appropriation, news, activism and more.
Alphabetical Listing of Online Resources
This site contains book reviews of children’s literature that feature Alaska’s indigenous people and also has information about Alaskan Native peoples.
The goals of this site are to provide educators with the tools to educate K-12 students - Indian and non-native alike - about the historic and contemporary political, economic, and social characteristics of sovereign tribal nations throughout the United States, to create an on-going educational collaboration between the university community and the K-12 education communities, to create a series of educational resources which secondary educators and students may use when studying historical and contemporary relationship between the US government and American Indians. It also has a number of flexible lesson plans for both elementary and secondary levels, including one for teaching about American Indian mascots: http://americanindiantah.com/lesson_plans/ml_mascots.html
This outstanding blog has great book reviews and commentaries that help teachers and others evaluate books from a Native perspective. Highly recommended to browse this site before using literature in class that includes American Indians.
- American Indian Library Association’s American Indian Youth Services Literature Award: http://ailanet.org/activities/american-indian-youth-literature-award/
- American Indian Library Association compilation of publications
The American Indian Library Association is a membership action group that is an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA). This membership action group that addresses the library-related needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. The American Indian Library Association’s American Indian Youth Services Literature Award is an honor created to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians. This link is one of the premier places to find the “best books about American Indians” for children’s literature.
Canku Ota is an online newsletter celebrating Native America. Access information about American Indian educational resources under “Cool Links”.
Western Carolina University’s Cullowhee, N.C. campus is at the heart of the spiritual and cultural homeland of the region's largest Native American population, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Uniquely located amidst rich cultural and academic resources, their interdisciplinary program is multi-faceted, offering students and scholars a wide range of academic and support services in partnership with the Cherokee community.
Criteria From How To Tell the Difference: A Guide for Evaluating Children’s Books for Anti-Indian Bias (adapted from oyate.org):
This helpful document gives tips and thinking points to help you learn to evaluate books for bias and stereotypes.
This five-part blog series, appropriate for both writers and educators, looks at writing (and teaching) about American Indians and gives resources to accurately and respectfully do so.
Indian Country Today is Indian Country’s online news that gives information on top issues in Indian culture today. It is helpful to anyone teaching or learning about First Peoples to be aware of contemporary Indian issues.
Planning a unit on American Indians and not sure where to begin? Learn NC has assembled lesson plans, articles and great websites to help you teach to, and about, America’s First People. *Largely geared toward historical information; teachers will need to supplement with contemporary information.
This curriculum guide has tribally-supplied information, useful K-16, that includes great contemporary, as well as historical, information from all eight of North Carolina’s state-recognized tribes. Lesson plans included with some of the tribes.
Common Core Standards Companion Guides with detailed ELA lessons using wonderful Native-based texts. Links to day by day instructions, summaries, background information, guided reading lesson suggestions and assessment suggestions.
The Museum’s Education & Outreach offers courses and workshops for teachers, students and families as well as literature and other resources.. Their goal is to provide accurate information about the Cherokee.
The National Indian Education Association supports traditional Native cultures and values, enables Native learners to become contributing members of their communities, promotes control of Native educational institutions, and improves educational opportunities and resources for American Indians and Alaska Natives throughout the United States.
Located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., this museum is dedicated to the preservation, study and exhibition of the life, language, literature, contemporary accuracy, history and arts of American Indians.
The mission of the Native American Resource Center of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke is to educate the public about the prehistory, history, culture, art and contemporary issues of American Indians, with special emphasis on the Robeson County Native American community; to conduct scholarly research; to collect and preserve the material culture of Native America; to encourage Native American artists and craftspersons; and to cooperate on a wide range of projects with other agencies concerned with Native America. The museum of the Native American Resource Center contains exhibits of authentic Indian artifacts, arts and crafts. These items come from Indian people all over North America, from Abenaki to Zuni. Many other items come from North Carolina Native Americans, with particular focus on the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina.
Created in 1971 by the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs has a two-fold mission to increase economic opportunities for Indians in North Carolina and to maximize educational opportunities for Indian citizens of North Carolina. The NCCIA also offers links to resources on Indian education and initiatives.
The North Carolina Museum of History holds an annual American Indian Heritage Celebration in November. This is a wonderful, free event for the public with all eight North Carolina state-recognized tribes represented and much information, hands-on activities and events. There is also a ‘student day’.
The State Advisory Council on Indian Education was established to identify issues and concerns that affect academic achievement of American Indian students. Council members study the yearly data collected on academic achievement and dropout rates, keep abreast of education policy issues at the local, state, and national levels, and work with tribal leadership in American Indian communities. As an outcome, the Council produces an annual report that addresses relevant concerns pertaining to the education of American Indian students and provides recommendations to the North Carolina State Board of Education.
Oyate is a Native organization working to see that Native lives and histories are portrayed with honesty and integrity. They have an online bookstore with appropriate materials and offer book reviews. Under their Resources tab, please especially see their sections on Thanksgiving and evaluating books for anti-Indian bias. And don’t miss the Living Stories section under Resources!
This page of the blog American Indians in Children’s Literature lists specific suggested texts. The NC SACIE would also suggest that you use the numerous other resources listed on our page to familiarize yourself with accurate vs stereotypical resources.
The American Indian Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is a campus-wide center to advance the University’s overall mission of research, teaching and public service by creating an environment in which quality research, scholarship, and engagement related to American Indians is strengthened, nurtured and coordinated. North Carolina is home to one of the largest Native populations in the Eastern United States and the center serves as the University’s front door to American Indian communities across the state and nation. The center enables Carolina to truly serve the First People of North Carolina.
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