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a vintage photo of a young native american girl.
Qahatika Girl, 1908

Native American Heritage Month

What we call Native Americans are actually countless distinct tribes that lived across the Americas for thousands of years. Most likely, the first Americans arrived 15,000 years ago via a land bridge near the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia. Some developed thriving civilizations, such as the Cahokia mound-building settlement in what is now Collinsville, Illinois.

The Indian Removal Act was authorized by President Andrew Jackson. In 1838, thousands were forcefully moved from their homelands to areas west of the Mississippi River. This "Trail of Tears" resulted in the death of an estimated 4,000 Native Americans.

In 1990, a federal resolution designated November as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994, and we now refer to this celebration as “American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.”

These videos can help your students learn about the histories and stories of Native Americans.



A History of Native American Achievement

Still image from: A History Of American Indian Achievement: American Indian Renaissance
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 8
27 minutes 58 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Still image from: A History Of American Indian Achievement: American Indians Populate The North American Continent
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 1
27 minutes 24 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Still image from: A History Of American Indian Achievement: Plains Indians War
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 6
28 minutes 47 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Still image from: A History Of American Indian Achievement: Resistance And Acceptance
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 4
28 minutes 5 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Still image from: A History Of American Indian Achievement: The Emergence Of The American Indian Hero
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 7
28 minutes 55 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Still image from: A History Of American Indian Achievement: The Golden Age Of Ancient American Indians
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 2
28 minutes 10 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Still image from: A History Of American Indian Achievement: The Great Transition
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 3
28 minutes 49 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Still image from: A History Of American Indian Achievement: The New Indian Leaders
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 5
25 minutes 48 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12

Native American Culture

Still image from: Bare Feet With Mickela Mallozzi: The Lumbee Dance of the Spring Moon
Bare Feet With Mickela Mallozzi
Season 1 / Ep 5
26 minutes 47 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Still image from: Buried Stories
34 minutes 22 seconds
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Still image from: Come Celebrate With Me: Native American Powwow
9 minutes 36 seconds
Grade Level: 5 - 8
Still image from: Comparing the Lives of Native Peoples
Exploring Our Past
Episode 5
23 minutes 36 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 10
Still image from: How the West Is Fun: American Indian Culture
18 minutes 52 seconds
Grade Level: 3 - 8
Still image from: Inuit Climate and Food
Inuit
Episode 1
13 minutes 43 seconds
Grade Level: 5 - 9
Still image from: Inuit Shelter and Heat
Inuit
Episode 3
14 minutes 1 seconds
Grade Level: 5 - 9
Still image from: Inuit Survival Skills
Inuit
Episode 4
14 minutes 6 seconds
Grade Level: 5 - 9
Native American man in a head dress and traditional clothing gesturing with his hands. Come straight, buffalo! Caption: This extraordinary film from 1930 shows "Plains indian sign language," or "Hand talk."
Science Nation
Episode 163
2 minutes 33 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Still image from: Wild Chronicles: Zuni Art Map Project
Wild Chronicles
Season 4 / Ep 412
5 minutes 53 seconds
Grade Level: 6 - 12

Native American Folklore

Still image from: Childhood: A Journey Series: Storytelling The Navaho Way
15 minutes 28 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Still image from: Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message
8 minutes
Grade Level: K - 4
Still image from: Stories From the Seventh Fire: How Wesakechak Got His Name
Stories From the Seventh Fire
Episode 1
13 minutes 29 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Still image from: Stories From the Seventh Fire: Legend of the Caribou
Stories From the Seventh Fire
Episode 5
12 minutes 31 seconds
Grade Level: 3 - 6
Still image from: Stories From the Seventh Fire: Legend of the First Thanksgiving
Stories From the Seventh Fire
Episode 4
12 minutes 20 seconds
Grade Level: 3 - 4
Still image from: Stories From the Seventh Fire: Legend of the Giant Beaver
Stories From the Seventh Fire
Episode 3
12 minutes 40 seconds
Grade Level: 3 - 6
Still image from: Stories From the Seventh Fire: Legend of the Spirit Bear
Stories From the Seventh Fire
Episode 2
12 minutes 37 seconds
Grade Level: 3 - 6
Still image from: Stories From the Seventh Fire: Wesakechak and the First Spring Flood
Stories From the Seventh Fire
Episode 6
13 minutes 10 seconds
Grade Level: 3 - 6

See all videos under the topic of Native Americans.

DID YOU KNOW...?

The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. Red Fox James, a Blackfeet Indian, rode horseback from state to state to get endorsements from 24 state governments to have a day to honor American Indians.

There are 573 federally recognized Indian tribes in America.

There are about 150 Native North American languages spoken in the United States today by more than 350,000 people.

With his space shuttle mission in 2002, John Herrington became the first Native American tribe member to venture into space.

Maria TallChief was a famous ballerina who danced with the New York City Ballet and founded the Chicago City Ballet.


Did you know one out of every 100 Americans is an Indian? That over 62% of all the food the world eats today was originally developed by American Indians?

DCMP has resources to help your students learn about Native American heritage and offers this flyer to get your class off to a good start.


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