November is National Native American Heritage Month. Teaching students about the history, culture, traditions, music, art, and world views of Indigenous peoples is important to celebrating our shared sense of humanity.
Listenwise has a thematically-curated Native American Stories podcast collection featuring a variety of voices and experiences, past and present. Browse this collection, use the “Native American” topic tag to search our platform, and/or review the lists of resources below to find opportunities to bring American Indian heritage into your classroom this month and throughout the year.
The Listenwise podcasts below can be integrated into classroom lessons in a variety of ways:
Podcasts Highlighting Native American Culture & Language
- Wampanoag Chief Shares Thanksgiving Recipes
- Scientific Discovery Announced in Blackfoot
- Life on a Reservation: Native American Identity in Literature
- The Significance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day
- Preserving the Cherokee Language
- Native American Cultural Burning Prevents Forest Fires
- Native Americans and the Wolf
- Iroquois Nationals Prepare for Top Lacrosse Competition
- Washington DC NFL Team Changing Its Name
Podcasts Highlighting Native American History & Politics
- The Wampanoag Story of Thanksgiving
- Historic Selection of Native American as Interior Secretary
- Resisting the Trail of Tears
- Parallel Universe: The Americas Before Columbus
- National Native American Veterans Memorial
- Pamunkey Native American Tribe Gets Federal Recognition
- Wounded Knee and Sioux Native Americans
- Treasures from the Trail of Lewis and Clark
- The Traumatic Legacy of Native American Boarding Schools
- The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
- Mohican Indians Reclaim Their History
- Native Americans and the Declaration of Independence
- Lewis and Clark and Prairie Dogs
Podcasts for Thematic Debate & Discussion
- Debate: Do Citizens Have a Right to Protect Themselves from the Pandemic?
- Debate: Should a River Be Granted Personhood?
- Debate: Does Media Coverage Sway Our Views?
- Debate: Should Tribal Citizenship Define Native American Identity?
- Debate: Should the U.S. Mine Lithium on Sacred Land?
- Debate: Should National Parks Be Controlled by Native Americans?
- Is Redskins an Appropriate Mascot Name?
More Quality Teaching Resources for Native American Heritage Month
Listen to this podcast to hear students at Crow Agency Public School on the Crow Reservation in Montana debunk myths and stereotypes about Native life. Fifth grade teacher Connie Michael was inspired to make this podcast with her students after working with teachers at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, where she learned that students across the country had significant misconceptions about life on a reservation.
Here are a few more resources that can help you bring Indigenous peoples’ perspectives into your classroom:
- Listen to this NPR interview with the author of a new children’s book called Fry Bread, who wrote the book because he found few Native American characters represented in children’s literature.
- Listen to this KRCC story: The Mountain West Brings Native Lessons To The Classroom and check out the associated lessons.
- “Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Indian Residential Schools” is a teaching resource from Facing History & Ourselves that illuminates an important chapter in the history of colonial and Indigenous peoples.
- Use these lessons, activities and videos from Share My Lesson to delve into Native culture and heritage.
- Native Knowledge 360° promotes improvement of teaching and learning about Native Americans.
- Find out whose land you’re on by using the digital locator at Native-Land.ca
According to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, all of these terms are acceptable to use: American Indian, Indian, Native American, Indigenous, and Native. While the term Native American is widely used, we do acknowledge that it is a term that is falling out of favor with some groups, with the preference being to use the terms American Indian or Indigenous American.
Best practice is to use the specific tribal name of the group you are referring to whenever possible. We use Native American in his blog post frequently because it is the most commonly used term, however we have made an effort to use different acceptable terms when possible out of respect. Listenwise commits to using specific tribal names whenever possible.
As we head into Thanksgiving later this month, it’s important to recognize that, as Learning for Justice explains in its Thanksgiving Mourning lesson, “For some Native Americans, Thanksgiving is no cause for celebration, but rather serves as a reminder of colonization’s devastating impact on Indigenous peoples.” The lesson offers valuable resources to use with students to help them think critically about American holidays and history and to read and listen to different perspectives.
Learning for Justice also offers other teaching resources to help promote understanding of the experiences of Native Americans. For example, their lesson Teaching Thanksgiving in a Socially Responsible Way raises the point that “Native Americans have been speaking out and writing back against the colonialist narrative of Thanksgiving for as long as the American narrative has existed.”