How to Incorporate Prominent Native American Females into School Lessons
As inclusion and diversity are very important aspects to student learning, incorporating Native American females into school lessons should allow students to experience new stories and aspects of Native American history not previously shared in mainstream history lessons on indigenous people. Learning about American Indians and their backgrounds can help students and learners visualize how the world has changed over time and throughout history and historical events.
Native American children and women of Native American tribes are rarely used in native history lessons, as the men are the prominent focus. Native culture has many influences in daily life due to the impact these native women had on the practices and actions they took in American history and in their own indigenous communities.
High school, elementary school, middle school and grade school lessons of Native American history could focus on lesson plans that surround how Native American culture shaped how Native American females lived in their time periods. They could also show the differences between an Alaska native female and a New Mexico native female.
U.S. History lessons tend to normalize Native American male experiences over Native American female experiences, so school districts should look to tribal nation stories of prominent females to showcase unique stories and lessons from their experiences and influences.
Native Americans were living all over North America and South America, like in South Dakota, Montana, Arizona, Washington, D.C, Canada, and New York. These Native American people came from a range of nations, like the Navajo and Cherokee, and they spoke a range of native languages.
To highlight Native American women as role models of native history in professional development history lessons, teachers can incorporate things like Native American Heritage month lessons, visits or explanations of typical Native American communities, visits to the National Museum of the American Indian, explaining indigenous culture and Indian culture in unique ways, showing images of Indian country today, and many others.
These lessons can be used in public schools, private schools, boarding schools, and to non-native or Native American students themselves, like Alaska native students. Community members can also benefit from these lessons of Native American women by incorporating lessons of Indian education and history of the first nations in a broader scope.
Initiatives and implementations can also be made in the community to recognize Native females by incorporating their photos or histories into local recognitions during certain holidays or remembrance days. By implementing these plans into the community, different tribes and different prominent Native women can be seen in a new light in America and can have their stories heard.
<!--StartFragment-->I am a current senior studying at the University of Missouri - Columbia with a major in Journalism and a minor in Sociology. I have interests in photojournalism, documentary journalism and design fields. <!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment-->