In November we pay tribute to the rich ancestry, traditions, and ongoing contributions of Native Americans as we celebrate Native American Heritage Month.

Often, we think of Native American contributions in the past tense. While it is important to recognize this history it is even more important to learn and support the experiences of Native Americans in the present.

As educators, it is our responsibility to share what we have learned with the broader community and so we recommend some of the following links to learn more about the Native Americans and First Nations who have lived in the Northwest for thousands of years and are still here.

Resources about Thanksgiving

  • Rethinking Thanksgiving Celebrations: Native Perspectives on Thanksgiving—When teaching about Thanksgiving, it is important not to misrepresent Native American cultures. Instead, incorporate Native knowledge into your lesson plans with the provided resources. Celebrate the vibrancy of Native cultures through Native American art, literature, and foods while you celebrate Thanksgiving.
  • Thanksgiving: A Native American View—an article by Jacqueline Keeler, a member of the Dineh Nation and the Yankton Dakota Sioux works with the American Indian Child Resource Center in Oakland, California.

Selected Resources For Teachers

  • National Native American Heritage Month—Selected Resources For Teachers: This Web portal is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
  • Encyclopedia of Puget Sound—Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), sometimes called Indigenous Knowledge, refers to cumulative knowledge and experience that indigenous cultures have of their environment. In the last thirty years, there has been growing interest in TEK as a resource for restoration and conservation projects.
  • Tribal Canoe Journeys: Canoe Journey is a revival of the traditional method of transportation and it can be a profound cultural experience for a participant. Canoe Journey began in 1989, and each year, a different Tribal Nation hosts each and every Canoe Family, which includes pullers (paddlers), support crew and often times Elders and family. Indigenous canoe families from as far as way as Aotearoa, Taiwan, Hawai’i, New York, California, and Alaska participate.
  • Native Lands Map: Native Land Digital strives to create and foster conversations about the history of colonialism, Indigenous ways of knowing, and settler-Indigenous relations, through educational resources such as our map and Territory Acknowledgement Guide.

November featured video from the BRIDGE