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.

IDA Treaties Explorer

Digital collection. View digitized historic treaties between Indigenous tribes and the U.S. government alongside key historic works that provide context to the agreements made and the histories of shared lands.
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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.
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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
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Alcatraz Is Not an Island

Film. By James M. Fortier. 2001. 60 minutes.
Documentary on a small group of Native American students and “Urban Indians” who occupied Alcatraz Island in November 1969, and how it forever changed the way Native Americans viewed themselves, their culture and their sovereign rights.
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Columbus in America

Film. By Paul Puglisi. 2017. 89 minutes.
Documentary on the symbol of Columbus in the United States and the campaign for Indigenous Peoples' Day.
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First Light (Film) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

First Light

Film. By Upstander Project. 2015. 13 minutes.
Story of forced removal of Native American children in Maine sent to boarding schools.
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Incident at Oglala

Film. By Michael Apted. Narrated by Robert Redford. 1992. 90 minutes.
Documentary about the conviction of Native American activist Leonard Peltier.
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Rabbit-Proof Fence

Film. Directed by Phillip Noyce. 2002. 79 minutes.
In 1931, three aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their homes to be trained as domestic staff and set off on a journey across the Outback.
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Thunderheart

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.
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Trinkets and Beads

Film. By Christopher Walker. 1996. 52 minutes.
This documentary reveals the funny, heartbreaking, and thrilling story of the battle waged by indigenous people to preserve their way of life in the Amazon, in the face of international capitalism and colonialism.
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