I recently had to find some state standards to justify teaching a unit about Indigenous Peoples' history. I read every single state standard for my state from 3rd grade to 8th and found 19. Of them, only 3 or 4 dealt with Indigenous Peoples pre-Columbian contact. The vast majority of the remainder only addressed the Indigenous population as something that stood in the way of America's westward expansion/conquest - something to be conquered. Based on information I learned at the National Council for Social Studies Conference in Chicago a few years ago, this is all too common.
This is wrong. We must do better.
I have recently become passionate about how Indigenous Peoples' history is taught, or, rather, (in most schools) not taught. This summer, I read an incredible book by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz called An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States that was both breath taking and eye-opening. The book is a re-telling of American history from the perspective of Indigenous Peoples focusing on how European contact had (and continues to have) a devastating impact on Indigenous Peoples' culture and heritage. I highly recommend it.
One of the obstacles to teaching about Indigenous Peoples' culture is a general lack of resources; especially the lack of resources that respectfully examine pre-contact Indigenous history in a way that is accessible to students and affordable to teachers. To help fill that gap in resources, I have created a number of them linked below that teach about Indigenous Peoples that are middle school appropriate, engaging and affordable. If you are interested, please take a look and see if they are right for you.
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I'm an 18 year veteran teacher that loves teaching, coaching, writing, and my family.