Resources for Celebrating National Native American Heritage Month in the Classroom
November is National Native American Heritage Month. This designation was passed by Congress and President George H.W. Bush in 1990. This designation recognizes that American Indians are the original inhabitants of the lands that make up the United States. Native American Indians have made and continue to make an essential and unique contribution to our country.
While November is a great time to celebrate and uplift the contributions of Native Americans, if we only discuss these contributions and the complex history during the month of November, we can further perpetuate harm. Native American history, is American history.
Here are several helpful resources for celebrating Native American Heritage Month in your classroom. I suggest that you start with the Essential Understandings which is a framework for essential understandings about American Indians.
Start here with the Essential Understandings:
To help you find picture books, chapter books, and other literature:
To help with lesson plans:
National Native Merican Heritage Month: Department of the Interior Indian Affairs
Celebrate Native American Heritage Month: Department of the Interior
Teaching the Truth About Native American History: Teach for Justice
Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State
Look up the Native Lands on which you reside with this interactive map:
Thanksgiving Teaching Resources:
A Culturally Responsive Approach to Discussing Thanksgiving in the Classroom by Lindsay Barrett
American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving by National Museum of the American Indian
Teaching Thanksgiving in a Socially Responsible Way by Teach for Justice
Rethinking Thanksgiving: Myths & Misgivings by Rethinking Schools
A Letter to Parents About Thanksgiving by Understanding Prejudice
I do my best to keep these resource lists up to date. If you notice something out of date please let me know.