Learning and Teaching About Native History, Culture, and Knowledge


Learning and Teaching About Native History, Culture, and Knowledge

watercolor of layered landscape, purple in foreground, orange and reds in middle ground, blues in background

Thanks to our organizational partners and friends who have recommended these resource lists, articles, books, videos, and podcasts, to help environmental educators understand more about Native history, culture, and knowledge. We will continue to add content over time. Please share additional resources and provide feedback on how we can make this list more useful to you.

Organizations and Resources for Those Working in or a Part of Tribal Communities

American Indian College Fund (organization): Provides scholarships and programming to improve Native American student access to and success in higher education.

"First Peoples' Principles of Learning" (curriculum guide): A list of common learning principles to guide educators and students in how pedagogy is practiced within First Nations communities, created by the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC). The FNESC notes that it's important to recognize that these principles may not capture the complete pedagogical scope of each First Nations community.

"Indigenous Seed Exchange Etiquette" (video): Oneida Nation citizens and farm educators Steve and Becky Webster grow traditional heirloom foods and share about their practices on their YouTube channel, Ukwakhwa. In this video, they provide tips on how best to prepare for or attend a seed exchange.

Native Women's Wilderness (organization): Founded by Jaylyn Gough, Native Womens Wildnerness is a "gathering to share stories, to learn, and to support other Native womxn.”

Pacific Northwest (PNW) Tribal Climate Change Network (project): A multi-agency and Tribal collaborative project working to ensure Tribes have input and access to climate change resources and information. A weekly listserv highlights funding opportunities.

From the #NAAEE2021 Conference and Research Symposium

"Cultivating Just, Sustainable, and Culturally Thriving Futures Now–Research Beyond Coloniality and Capitalism" (Research Symposium Plenary Session): Dr. Megan Bang explores the development and implementation of land-based learning environments aimed at contributing to Indigenous children, families, and communities resurgence. 

"Reconciling Relationships and Reimagining Environmental Education Through an Indigenous Lens" Experience Natural Curiosity's transformative pedagogy that encourages children's environmental inquiry through an Indigenous lens, developed with guidance from a national Indigenous Education Advisory Board across Canada. 

Thanksgiving Curriculum

"Decolonizing Thanksgiving': A Toolkit for Switching the Narratives of History" (article): Written by an Nlaka’pamux Warrior Womxn on Pentlatch Territory, Ecko Aleck shares questions and strategies to unpack, learn, and recreate an inclusive and respectful story of Thanksgiving.

"Native American Heritage Month, Thanksgiving, and Year-Round Resources For Educators" (resource compilation): The Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Project Learning Tree provides a list of resources centering Indigenous knowledge and stories "to create a better understanding of the importance of forests and the many communities that rely on forests for the spiritual, cultural, environmental, and economic benefits they bring."

"Rethinking Thanksgiving Celebrations: Native Perspectives on Thanksgiving" (resource compilation): The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian provides culturally sensitive activities and resources for incorporating Native knowledge into K-12 Thanksgiving lesson plans.

"The Real Thanksgiving" (lesson plan): Created by the Bioneers, a non-profit organization, this lesson plan for grades 9–12 "deconstructs the story of Thanksgiving and reframes it from a Native American perspective. Students will learn the significance of annual times of harvest in the Wampanoag and Pilgrim cultures by comparing and contrasting the ways in which these holidays were observed."

Additional Resources

All My Relations (podcast): Hosted by Matika Wilbur of the Swinomish and Tulalip Tribes and Dr. Adrienne Keene of the Cherokee Nation, All My Relations brings Indigenous voices to mainstream media to talk on a variety of topics.

All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (book): In this account of Native struggles against environmental injustice, Winona LaDuke writes “forcefully for self-determination and community.”

"American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) Lists of Best Books" (resource compilation): Established in 2006 by Dr. Debbie Reese of Nambé Pueblo, American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) provides critical analysis of Indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books. These lists provide recommendations from Dr. Debbie Reese and other Native members of the American Indian Library Association.

Anishinabek Educational Resources (curriculum): The Anishinabek Nation represents 39 First Nations throughout the province of Ontario. Their website provides several educational resources including curriculum on treaties, videos about Anishinabek customs, and a history of the Indian residential school system in Canada.

As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock (book): Written by Dina Gilio-Whitaker, member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, this compilation provides the history of settler colonialism from an Indigenous activist’s lens. Gilios-Whitaker calls for the modern environmental movement to look to Indigenous history and culture for guidance.

"Coming Home to the Cove: A Story of Family, Memory, and Stolen Land" (podcast): This three-part series, produced by Emergence Magazine, chronicles the multigenerational story of a Coast Miwok family’s eviction from their ancestral home in Northern California and Theresa Harlan’s mission to bring the living history of her family back to the land.

"How Land-Based Learning Supports Indigenous Students" (video): A short video about the Indigenous Farm Hub, and how it connects students back to Indigenous knowledge about sustainable agriculture.

Indigeneity Curriculum (curriculum): From Bioneers, these Indigenous science, media, and curriculum bundles include discussion guides, teacher instructions, and activities for grades 9th–12th.

Indigenous Environmental Network (organization): Born from a "national gathering of Tribal grassroots youth and Indigenous leadership to discuss our common experiences regarding environmental assaults on our lands, waters, communities and villages," IEN addresses environmental and economic justice issues and "supports a national and international network that maintains an Indigenous peoples and youth constituency with a grassroots focus."

"The Importance of Indigenous Rights and Knowledge in Conservation" (video): Protecting the environment requires protecting Indigenous knowledge. Hear from Indigenous leaders around the world in this 3-minute video by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

"The 7 R’s of integrating Tribal and Indigenous partnerships into aquaculture literacy" (article): In June 2021, NOAA’s Community of Practice for Aquaculture Literacy (CoPAL), in collaboration with eeBLUE, facilitated a discussion highlighting the diversity of experiences and perspectives of Native communities and how to build meaningful partnerships with them. Hear from the panelists in this summary.

"This is Indigenous Land: An Indigenous land-based approach to climate change education" (case study): From GEEP, learn about an Indigenous land-based climate change education camp in Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

"What Conservation Efforts Can Learn from Indigenous Communities" (article): For Scientific American, Annie Sneed covers a United Nations-backed report that affirms the expertise and leadership of Indigenous communities in maintaining and managing biodiversity and ecosystems.