Helpful Native American Heritage Month teaching resources

October 24, 2016
Burke Education
2016 Canoe Journey Alki Beach landing

The 2016 Canoe Journey Alki Beach landing on July 27, 2016.
Photo: Sven Haakanson

November is our national Native American Heritage month! As the Washington State Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Burke presents daily opportunities—both at the museum and out in the community—to engage with the living traditions of Native American cultures.

In celebration of Native American Heritage month, we’ve pulled together some facts and helpful resources to support classroom teachers and parents as you explore Native American cultures together with your students.

Did you know?

  • Tribes are sovereign entities with government-to-government relationships with the United States. These complex relationships are typically based on treaties. The U.S. Constitution defines treaties as the "supreme law of the land" (Article VI).
  • Tribes, just like nations, have their own services, such as schools, hospitals, housing, police, courts, natural resources departments, museums, libraries, and much more. Try reaching out to the tribe's education department, cultural resources department, museum, cultural center, or library.
  • Native American, Native, American Indian, Indian, First Peoples and Indigenous are all terms used by both Native and non-Native people. When possible, though, most Native people prefer to be identified by their specific community. Try implementing this language in your classrooms as a way to discuss history, geography, identity, and diversity!

Washington state tribes:

Other resources from the Burke Museum:

What will you be doing to explore Native American cultures with your students?

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