Theme: Native American

Below are lessons, books, films, and more on Indigenous history. We also recommend checking out the Abolish Columbus Day campaign and the list of books for pre-K – 12 recommended by American Indians in Children’s Literature, posted at Social Justice Books.


Film. By Michael Apted. 1992. 118 minutes.
Captures some of the conflicts on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the 1970s relating to corporate/government collusion to exploit Native lands for profit.
Continue reading

Incident at Oglala

Film. By Michael Apted. Narrated by Robert Redford. 1992. 90 minutes.
Documentary about the conviction of Native American activist Leonard Peltier.
Continue reading

J. Winter Nightwolf Radio Show on the Mexican American Studies Program

On Jan. 20, 2012, Jay Winter Nightwolf's weekly WPFW FM 89.3 program, "American Indian's Truths — Nightwolf — 'The Most Dangerous Show on Radio'” focused on the Arizona state ruling against the Mexican American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District and the confiscation of books from Tucson classrooms. Nightwolf hosted special guests:
  • Rudy Arredondo, President of the National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Association
  • Dr. Roberto Cintli Rodriguez from the University of Arizona—Tucson
  • Dr. Rudolfo Anaya from the University of New Mexico Professor Emeritus Department of English
Continue reading

Hurricane Dancers

Book — Fiction. By Margarita Engle. 2011. 160 pages.
Historical fiction in the form of poetry about the conquest and resistance.
Continue reading


Book — Fiction. By Louise Erdrich. 2012. 208 pages.
The fourth book in the series following the Ojibwe girl Omakayas and her family as their lands are invaded by white settlers.
Continue reading

The Export of Colors

Article. By Manlio Argueta. From Cuzcatlán, Donde bate la mar del sur.
An excerpt from a novel of historical fiction about the impact of an export economy on peasants in El Salvador.
Continue reading

Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir

Book — Non-fiction and prose. Deborah A. Miranda. 2012. 240 pages.
A compilation of documents, photos, and memoir that recounts the establishment of missions in California and the impact on Indigenous people—then and today.
Teaching Activity by Deborah A. Miranda
Continue reading

Time to Abolish Columbus Day

Article. By Bill Bigelow. 2015. If We Knew Our History Series. When the school curriculum celebrates Columbus, children are taught that it’s OK for white people to rule over peoples of color and that militarily powerful nations can bully weaker nations. By his own account, Columbus enslaved people, destroyed cultures, and terrorized those who challenged his rule. It’s time to abolish Columbus Day.
Teaching Activity by Bill Bigelow
Continue reading

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse

Book — Fiction. By Joseph Marshall III. Illustrations by Jim Yellowhawk. 2015. 176 pages.
A contemporary Native American boy learns about the history of Crazy Horse in a journey with his grandfather.
Continue reading