Do you remember the first time YOU learned about American Indians?
If you are like most Americans, you probably received only a tiny glimpse into the rich and diverse cultures, histories, and contemporary lives of Native peoples.
You may have even learned some things that were limited, false, or misleading.
During my childhood, for example, we learned that American history began with European settlement of the “New World”—a vast wilderness populated only by a few wandering hunter-gatherers.
The messages from popular culture were equally clear. Contemporary Indians were not relevant. Indians were figures of the past.
Today, misrepresentations about Native people often remain unchallenged in the educational system and culture of the United States.
It isn’t because teachers don’t care. It’s because many teachers and students just don’t have the information or resources to provide deeper and more comprehensive knowledge and perspectives.
That’s why the National Museum of the American Indian is joining with Native communities and educators to develop a web-based educational initiative called Native Knowledge 360° that will help change the way American Indian histories, cultures, and contemporary lives are taught in K–12 classrooms (you can learn more about it here).
Source: email from Kevin Gover (Pawnee), Director
National Museum of the American Indian
31 January 2018
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