November 08, 2011
By Elisabeth Grant
November is Native American Heritage Month. Learn more about Native American history and culture, and find teaching resources, through the links we’ve rounded up below.
- Native American Heritage Month 2011
The Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Park Services, and four other institutions have collaborated and pooled their materials to create this Native American Heritage Month site. It includes links to exhibits and collections, images, video interviews, and teacher resources. Through the site you can find an online exhibition on horses’ impact on Native American culture, a lesson plan on Chief White Cloud, a website recognizing American Indians who were veterans, and much more.
- National Museum of the American Indian
If you can’t make the trip to Washington, D.C., to visit the National Museum of the American Indian, check out its website. On it you’ll find a large collection of online exhibitions, an education section that includes a number of print resources, and links to mini-sites, like American Indian Responses to Environmental Challenges and a focus on American Indian Code Talkers.
- Smithsonian Folkways
Learn about American Indians through music at the From the Andes to the Arctic feature on the Smithsonian Folkways site, the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution. Find archival recordings as well as recent artists’ work. Currently the site features over 80 albums with American Indian music.
For teachers interested in using American Indian music in the classroom, Smithsonian Folkways offers this PDF of teaching resources, which pairs Hopi Tales with activities, readings, and quizzes.
- Native Authors
The blog of publisher ABC-Clio recently ran a post on Native American Heritage Month that included a list of Native Authors, and specific books by native authors, to check out. A few examples from the list are Awesiinyensag, a children’s book written in the Anishinaabemowin language; The Turquoise Ledge by Leslie Marmon Silko; and Blue Horses Rush In, a book of poetry byLuci Tapahonso. See also this blog post from last year, which concludes with a “Ten to Watch” list of indigenous writers.
- National Archives – Docs Teach
The National Archives Docs Teach website has a dedicated section of activities for the classroom and primary sources for teaching about Native American Heritage Month. For example see battle reports, letters, and images from Little Big Horn; view scanned images of U.S.-Native American Treaties; or use this lesson plan to teach students about “The Impact of Westward Expansion on Native American Groups.”
EDSITEment’s has a Native American Heritage Month feature from past years. It weaves together images of artifacts, links to online exhibitions, art, and more to examine the culture of Native Americans. It also offers a collection of featured lesson plans for use in the classroom. See also the 2011 Native American Heritage Month feature, which highlights the NEH funded series We Shall Remain.