Teaching about American Indian Peoples

What better way to teach about American Indian Peoples than invite contemporary American Indian Peoples into your classroom? Teaching Tolerance recently published an article by Dr. Susan Faircloth, an enrolled member of the Coharie Tribe. She calls on educators and school leaders to become more responsive to Native children and families through her article, With and About: Inviting Contemporary American Indian Peoples Into the Classroom (Issue 56, Summer 2017). An excerpt, “When American Indian parents and families speak out against culturally inappropriate practices and educators are open to the possibility of new ways of teaching, it benefits not only American Indian students but their peers as well. Professional development and training can help educators adopt culturally relevant practices, but—beyond changing the way we teach—this process also requires attitudinal change. One of the easiest ways to change attitudes is to get to know the families we serve, particularly those whose culture(s) may be different than our own. When educators take the time to do this, they find that American Indian families want what all families want: for (in the words of Dr. Debbie Reese [Nambe Pueblo]) “the air [our children] breathe, and the books that [they] read to nurture [them], not hurt them.” […]