Indigenous Peoples Day Resources

Here are lessons, books, and films for teaching the truth about Columbus and Indigenous Peoples history.

Lessons

Discovering Columbus: Re-reading the Past Feature ImageDiscovering Columbus:
Re-reading the Past

How to engage students in a critical analysis of the textbook version of “discovery.”

The People vs. Columbus, et al.

Role play in the form of a trial to determine who is responsible for the death of millions of Taínos on the island of Hispaniola in the late 15th century. Roles available in Spanish.

The Cherokee/Seminole Removal Role Play (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

The Cherokee/Seminole
Removal Role Play

Role play on the Cherokee-Seminole removal or Trail of Tears.

Andrew Jackson and the “Children of the Forest (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
Andrew Jackson and
the “Children of the Forest”

A lesson in which students develop critical literacy skills by responding to Andrew Jackson’s speech on “Indian Removal.”

‘Don’t Take Our Voices Away’: A Role Play on the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change (Lesson) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

‘Don’t Take Our Voices Away’:
A Role Play on the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change

A role play that asks students to develop a list of demands to present to the rest of the world at a climate change meeting.

Standing Rock Featured Image
Standing with Standing Rock: A Role Play on the Dakota Access Pipeline

A role play that helps students recognize the issues at stake in the historic struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux to block construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

 

Articles
Christopher Columbus:
No Monuments for Murderers

Why we should challenge the fundamental structures of ownership, power, and privilege that have given us such a skewed constellation of heroes and holidays.
Columbus Protest | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's HistoryTruth-Telling in American History: Groups Fight for Indigenous Peoples Day
Discusses Indigenous Peoples Day campaigns and the resistance/challenges to overcome.
Italian Americans Who
Fought for Justice

Brief bios of people of Italian heritage who were committed to social justice.
Native American Activism: 1960s to Present | Zinn Education ProjectNative American Activism:
1960s to Present

Brief overview and Native American activism since the late 1960s.

 

Books
Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years (Teaching Guide) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History Rethinking Columbus:
The Next 500 Years

Readings and lessons for grades 5 to 12 about the impact and legacy of the arrival of Columbus in the Americas.
“All the Real Indians Died Off”: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans (Book) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History “All the Real Indians Died Off”: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans
Deconstructs persistent myths about American Indians rooted in fear and prejudice—an astute and lively primer of European-Indian relations.
Christopher Columbus and the Conquest of Paradise (Book) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History Christopher Columbus and the Conquest of Paradise
Very detailed, with extensive quotes from far-ranging original sources. Links Columbus’s legacy to environmental degradation.
columbushisenterprise Columbus: His Enterprise
A biography that gives a true account of Columbus’ life and voyages.
An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (Book) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States
Four hundred years of Native American history from a bottom-up perspective.
A People's History of the United States (Book) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History A People’s History of the United States
A groundbreaking work on U.S. history. This book details lives and facts rarely included in textbooks—an indispensable teacher and student resource.

 

Films
The Columbus Controversy: Challenging How History Is Written (Film) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Contrasting views and scenes from the classroom on teaching about Columbus.

Columbus in America
Documentary on the symbol of Columbus in the United States and the campaign for Indigenous Peoples Day.
Even the Rain (Film) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

As a crew shoots a film about Columbus’ genocide, local people in Cochabamba, Bolivia rise up against plans to privatize the water supply.
Unlearning “Indian” Stereotypes (DVD) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
Native American history through the eyes of Native American children.

 

Websites
American Indians in Children's Literature (Website) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Critical perspectives of Indigenous peoples in children’s books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society-at-large.
In-depth coverage of Native American news.
Camp of the Sacred Stones - Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (Website) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

News and updates about the resistance effort.

 

More at the Zinn Education Project
Abolish Columbus Day | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's HistoryAbolish Columbus Day Campaign Resources on Native Americans Resources on Colonization

 

 


Many of these resources are featured in the Abolish Columbus Day packet which is available to download. The 14-page packet includes articles, sample resolutions, and a poster. Read more at www.zinnedproject.org/abolish.