Indigenous Peoples’ Day Resources

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

Standing Rock Featured ImageStanding with Standing Rock: A Role Play on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Students learn about the issues at stake in the #NoDAPL struggle at Standing Rock.
The People vs. Columbus, et al.
Students engage in a mock trial to determine who is responsible for the death of millions of Taínos in the late 15th century.
The Cherokee/Seminole
Removal Role Play

A lesson on the Cherokee-Seminole
removal or Trail of Tears.
Statues of Native Americans walking, representing the Trail of Tears, in FloridaAndrew Jackson and
the “Children of the Forest”

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

Students develop a list of demands to present to the rest of the world at a climate change meeting.

Discovering Columbus:
Re-reading the Past

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


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
Indigenous Peoples’ Day campaigns and the 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.


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.
Indigenous People's History Young Readers (book cover) | Zinn Education Project An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People
400 years of Native American history. Original text is fully adapted by curriculum experts Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza, for middle-grade and young adult readers.
Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance
Nick Estes traces traditions of Indigenous resistance that led to the #NoDAPL movement.

several book covers highlighting Native people and the Indigenous struggle

Many more books for pre-K-12 and adults are on the Social Justice Books American Indians Booklist, with titles recommended by Debbie Reese of American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL).


Films and Podcasts
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.

NECESSITY: A Two-Part Documentary Series on Climate Resistance
Oil, Water, and Climate Resistance explores the work of attorneys, valve turners, and other water protectors in Minnesota. Climate Justice and the Thin Green Line examines climate resistance in the Pacific Northwest.

How a string of custody battles over Native children became a federal lawsuit that threatens everything from tribal sovereignty to civil rights.


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.

An active and visible component of the Smithsonian Institution.


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