Lessons on Indigenous Peoples and Issues
The Osage Tribe – and American History – in the News
November is Native American Heritage Month. In this activity, students examine a small portion of the history of the Wahzhazhe people, known as the Osage, by delving into two recent news stories.
Reflection & Sharing: Where Are You?
Students discuss the land where they live, and the Indigenous peoples who once lived there. Then they get to know each other by reflecting on four aspects of their lives, using Native American teachings on the Medicine Wheel.
Who Does the Land Belong To?
The question “who owns the land?” underlies many conflicts. Students explore issues surrounding land, place, and belonging – especially as they affect Native Americans and African Americans.
Does the U.S. Need a Truth & Reconciliation Commission?
In this two-part lesson, teachers and students explore the concept of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions as a way for nations and communities to begin dialogues and chart a path toward healing.
Indigenous Peoples' Defense of Water - and Life
This lesson allows students to deepen their understanding of an aspect of Indigenous peoples' relationship with the earth. Students engage with two short films about peoples’ resistance to the privatization and loss of access to clean drinking water.
Creating a Class Land Acknowledgment Statement
Students learn about the growing effort to acknowledge the Indigenous people whose lands we inhabit - and create their own land acknowledgment statement.
Acknowledging and Expressing Gratitude to Indigenous People
Morningside Center's statement also includes additional resources on land acknowledgment.
Thanksgiving: Exploring Perspectives
Students consider facts, myths and perspectives about Thanksgiving Day, including Native American perspectives.
The Navajo Code Breakers: A Lesson in Historical Empathy.
Students learn about Chester Nez, the World War 2 Navajo code talker. They consider why he was willing to help the U.S. war effort despite the terrible bigotry that he had endured. Through small group activities, students put themselves in Nez's place to encourage them to empathize with others, and consider how past wrongs can be remedied.
- IllumiNative is a nonprofit initiative created and led by Native peoples, to increase the visibility of – and challenge the negative narrative about – Native Nations and peoples in American society.
- Native Knowledge 360, a project of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the Native American, includes many resources, including this online lesson, Is a Treaty to Be Forever?
- Zinn Education Project resources on Native American issues
- The Thanksgiving Tale We Tell Is a Harmful Lie. As a Native American, I’ve Found a Better Way to Celebrate the Holiday (Time Magazine article by Sean Sherman)
- Truth & Healing Toolkit from Native Americans in Philanthropy
- Land Reparations & Indigenous Solidarity Toolkit from Resource Generation
- Honor Native Land: A Guide & Call to Acknowledgment (video)