Teaching Indigenous Humanity & Fostering Black Joy

Helpful resources and an upcoming retreat with educator Takiema Bunche Smith.

In a recent newsletter, our colleague Takiema Bunche Smith, educator and founder of Anahsa Consulting, reflected on how, two decades ago, she realized that the curriculum she’d been given to teach her third-graders about Native Americans was both inaccurate and oppressive.  

She teamed up with a fellow teacher to find ways to “include the full humanity of Indigenous folks, and to share the resistance to colonization they exhibited in the past, as well as the present.” But it wasn’t easy, because back then educators didn’t have access to the kind of resources that we do now.

“We didn’t have a roadmap for creating and implementing this revamped, pro-Indigenous curriculum,” Takiema writes. “However, we knew that we had to interrupt the harmful beliefs and stereotypes that children had already internalized by the age of 8. We knew that we could support them to think critically about history, with social justice in mind.”

Read on for Takiema’s ideas and links for teaching on Indigenous peoples’ past and present.

Note: On January 6 and January 14, Takiema Bunche Smith will co-facilitate a virtual retreat for early childhood educators and education leaders on supporting Black child joy, eliminating anti-Black racism in their programs, and prioritizing restoration and radical self-care.  Find out more about the “Journey to Nia” retreat.