Monthly Highlights

Monthly Highlights – November 2021

Blog Posts

Featured Teaching Resources

  • UC Irvine Native American History Resources (see lessons here)  
    • The Reservation System - Grades 8 & 11
      • This source set helps students understand treaties between the federal government and American Indian nations, as well as helps students understand how the reservation system emerged. The source set builds up to a five-paragraph essay exercise. 
    • Federal Government Education Policies and Native Communities - Grades 8 & 11 
      • This source set leads students to examine federal government education policies and how they impacted native communities. Moreover, it emphasizes Indigenous responses and resistance to federal policies.
    • Native Americans in the Revolution - Grades 8 & 11 
      • This lesson informs students that Native Americans were involved in the revolutionary war and made strategic choices about their participation. It provides context for Native Americans’ concepts of their own sovereignty, ideas about land ownership, and their feeling towards territorial disputes amongst Europeans on native land
  • UC Berkeley Native History Resources
    • This Land is Native Land - Grades 5, 8, 11 & 12 
      • This lesson explores the significance of land acknowledgments. It uses recent primary sources, including social media posts, to help students think critically about Native land.   
    • Harvest Festivals - Grades K-2 
      • This lesson helps students understand international harvest festivals, as well as the history of Thanksgiving and Native Americans at the first celebration. It also teaches students important terminology, including Indigenous people, settlers, and sovereignty.
    • Indigenous People in CA  - Grades K-2 
      • The focus question of this lesson is “Whose land do I live on?” Students will learn about Indigenous peoples in the United States and what happened to them in the past. Importantly, it also emphasizes how Indigenous communities remain and thrive today. 
    • Native History Resources 
      • The UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project compiled this list of resources after studying settler colonialism and the ongoing history and presence of Ohlone people in the Bay Area. This list is informed by their research and provides information about the Ohlone people, as well as addresses broader issues in Native history. 
  • California History-Social Science Project Resources
    • Native American Systems of Government - Grade 5
      • ​​​​​​This set of sources explores the many different ways that Native American groups organized themselves into social and political kinship structures that include clans, bands, tribes, nations, and confederacies.
    • Federalism (Native Boarding Schools) - Grade 12
      • This inquiry set offers students an opportunity to consider Native American education, guided by federal Indian policy, which created a system of coerced education in the form of boarding schools. The sources in this set allow students to consider the goals of the federal government, the consequences of these policies on children, and how Native Americans navigated their relationships between the levels of authority (federal, state, local, and tribal) that they encountered.
    • California Native - Grade 4 
      • This lesson introduces students to some of the lifeways of Native Californian communities before the arrival of newcomers (Europeans and Americans). It addresses the ways that foreign contact changed Native people’s lives during the Spanish mission period, including changes to their cultures and the impacts of disease and European plants and animals on Native populations. 
    • Impact of Colonialism on Native People - Grade 10
      • This is a case study of the colonial enterprises of Spain and the United States in California. It forces on the continuous resistance of Native peoples from the eighteenth century to the present.

    • Native Communities - Grade 3
      • Working with maps of natural regions and Indian tribes, students can describe ways in which physical geography, including climate, affected the natural resources on which California Indian nations depended. Investigating the plants and animals used by local Indians, students explain how Indians adapted to their natural environment so that they could harvest, transport, and consume resources.

Featured Picture Books

  • Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Gold Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer by Traci Sorell
    • Mary Golda Ross designed classified airplanes and spacecraft as Lockheed Aircraft Corporation's first female engineer. Find out how Ross’ passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work. 
  • Shaped by Her Hands: Potter Maria Martinez by Anna Harbor Freeman & Barbara Gonzales
    • The most renowned Native American Indian potter of her time, Maria Poveka Martinez learned pottery as a child under the guiding hands of her Ko-ōo, her aunt. She grew up to discover a new firing technique that turned her pots black and shiny, and made them--and Maria--famous.  Indigenous author.
  • We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know by Traci Sorell
    • Native American history is often treated as a finished chapter instead of relevant and ongoing. This companion book to the award-winning We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga offers readers everything they never learned in school about Native American people's past, present, and future. Topics include forced assimilation (such as boarding schools), land allotment and Native tribal reorganization, termination (the US government not recognizing tribes as nations), Native urban relocation (from reservations), self-determination (tribal self-empowerment), Native civil rights, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), religious freedom, economic development (including casino development), Native language revival efforts, cultural persistence, and nationhood. 
  • We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
    • We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption.  A beautiful and bold way to introduce the Dakota Access Pipeline Project and activism to young students. Pair with Young Water Protectors: A Story About Standing Rock by Aslan Tudor, Kelly Tudor, and Jason EaglespeakerWinner of the 2021 Caldecott Award.
  • Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh This Is How I Know by Brittany Luby  
    • The illustrations are stunning and a terrific way to introduce the seasons to young students. There are so many opportunities for the primary classroom, including discussing fruits and vegetables, animals, changing weather.

Recent Scholarship

  • Liza Black, Picturing Indians: Native Americans in Film, 1941-1960 (2020)
    • “Black offers a rare and overlooked perspective on American cinema history by giving voice to creators of movie Indians—the stylists, public relations workers, and the actors themselves. In exploring the inherent racism in sensationalizing Native culture for profit, Black also chronicles the little-known attempts of studios to generate cultural authenticity and historical accuracy in their films...Consulting new primary sources, Black has crafted an interdisciplinary experience showcasing what it meant to “play Indian” in post–World War II Hollywood.”
    • Standard 11.8: “Students analyze the economic boom and social transformation of post-World War II America”
  • Clifford Trafzer, Strong Hearts and Healing Hands: Southern California Indians and Field Nurses, 1920–1950 (2021)  
    • “Over time, field nurses and Native people formed a positive working relationship that resulted in the decline of mortality from infectious diseases. Many Native Americans accepted and used Western medicine to fight pathogens, while also continuing Indigenous medicine ways...Through their cooperative efforts, Indians and health-care providers decreased deaths, cases, and misery among the tribes of Southern California.”
    • Standard 11.7.6 “Describe major developments in aviation, weaponry, communications, and medicine and the war’s impact on the location of American industry and use of resources”
  • Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert, Hopi Runners: Crossing the Terrain Between Indian and American (2018)
    • “Sakiestewa Gilbert brings a Hopi perspective to this history. His book calls attention to Hopi philosophies of running that connected the runners to their villages; at the same time it explores the internal and external forces that strengthened and strained these cultural ties when Hopis competed in US marathons. Between 1908 and 1936 Hopi marathon runners such as Tewanima, Zeyouma, Franklin Suhu, and Harry Chaca navigated among tribal dynamics, school loyalties, and a country that closely associated sport with US nationalism. The cultural identity of these runners, Sakiestewa Gilbert contends, challenged white American perceptions of modernity, and did so in a way that had national and international dimensions.”
    • Standard 11.3.1 “Describe the contributions of various religious groups to American civic principles and social reform movements (e.g., civil and human rights, individual responsibility and the work ethic, antimonarchy and self-rule, worker protection, family-centered communities).
    • Standard 11.3.3 Cite incidents of religious intolerance in the United States
  • Hernández-Ávila, Inés, chapter, “Spirit Crossings: A Nimipu/Tejana Cultural Perspective on Mortality and Death,” in Anima Mundi: Voices from Many Shores, eds. Frédérique Apffell-Marglin and Stefano Varese, Peter Lang Press, 2020.
    • Standard 3.2 Students describe American Indian nation in their local region long ago and in the recent past
    • Standard 3.2.1 “Describe national identities, religious beliefs, customs, and various traditions”