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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

Group of people stand in a cluster with cars in background. Caption. Living inside and outside of mainstream American society.
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 8
27 minutes 58 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Native American person with face paint wears animal feathered headdress. Caption. But the history of American Indians in this land.
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 1
27 minutes 24 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Native American figure with black covering on face holds up weapon in each hand. Second figure lunges in background. Caption. And one of the greatest warrior chiefs.
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 6
28 minutes 47 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Man looks at camera and parts lips mid-speech. Backdrop displays black and white illustration of shirtless man falling forward with hair swept up behind him. Caption. One on the eastern seaboard near present-day Boston.
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 4
28 minutes 5 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Black and white photo of the midsection of a woman with long, dark hair. Caption. Sarah was also the first American Indian.
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 7
28 minutes 55 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Color illustration of a hunter with long, dark hair aiming a spear at two deer by a lake. Caption. Hurled with a unique and powerful tool.
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 2
28 minutes 10 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Aerial view of sprawling red rock formations. Caption. Resting between the Rocky Mountains on the east.
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 3
28 minutes 49 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Man looks down at camera and parts lips in mid-speech. Backdrop displays painting of a militia bearing an American flag and facing off against Native Americans in battle.
A History Of American Indian Achievement
Season 0 / Ep 5
25 minutes 48 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12

Native American Culture

2 Native American people wearing brightly colored traditional Native American clothing with big feathers perform a dance. Caption. "The Lumbee, the Native American tribe indigenous to this region."
Bare Feet With Mickela Mallozzi
Season 1 / Ep 5
26 minutes 47 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Man wearing black cowboy hat faces camera. Caption. And Ella is a descendant of one of these migrations.
34 minutes 22 seconds
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Group of Native Americans dancing. Some are in native dress. Caption. We're going to be in the dance together.
9 minutes 36 seconds
Grade Level: 5 - 8
2 Native American men and 2 Native American children sit closely together inside a wood structure. Caption. Listening to stories told by the native elders.
Exploring Our Past
Episode 5
23 minutes 36 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 10
Frame of a cowboy with back to camera. People in foreground lean on fencing. Caption. Because the cowboy has always been my hero.
18 minutes 52 seconds
Grade Level: 3 - 8
Herd of caribou graze and rest in a snowy, blue-tinted landscape. Caption. Caribou have amazingly warm fur.
Inuit
Episode 1
13 minutes 43 seconds
Grade Level: 5 - 9
Inuit man works inside hollowed out snow structure while a second person assists outside. Caption. Other people would place the bricks carefully.
Inuit
Episode 3
14 minutes 1 seconds
Grade Level: 5 - 9
Blurry figure holds a paddle in a long canoe out on the water. Caption. He would also have to learn how to paddle a canoe.
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
Illustration of 2 plateaus with 1 white and 1 red horizontal stripe topped with green trees above several adobe-style homes. Caption. And the importance of our culture.
Wild Chronicles
Season 4 / Ep 412
5 minutes 53 seconds
Grade Level: 6 - 12

Native American Folklore

Young girl seated across a table from a senior man. Caption. Allison, let me tell you a story about my grandfather.
15 minutes 28 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Cartoon. Native American people holding hands, waving at a mountain landscape. Caption. Mother Earth, we thank you for giving us everything we need.
8 minutes
Grade Level: K - 4
Cartoon. Profile view of a rabbit named, Wesakechak, looking downward at a shrub and speaking to a bear who holds a small branch with fruit on it. Caption. There's that awful name again.
Stories From the Seventh Fire
Episode 1
13 minutes 29 seconds
Grade Level: 4 - 8
Cartoon. Closeup of a wolf's face with eyes looking towards camera and its mouth slightly open as if speaking. Caption. The wolf clan tells us it's a land far to the north.
Stories From the Seventh Fire
Episode 5
12 minutes 31 seconds
Grade Level: 3 - 6
Cartoon. Closeup of a wolf's face with eyes looking towards camera and mouth slightly open as if speaking. Caption. During the season of the falling leaves.
Stories From the Seventh Fire
Episode 4
12 minutes 20 seconds
Grade Level: 3 - 4
Cartoon. Closeup of a wolf's face and neck. Wolf's eyes look slightly to the side and its mouth is gently open in a calm expression. Caption. Much higher.
Stories From the Seventh Fire
Episode 3
12 minutes 40 seconds
Grade Level: 3 - 6
Wide angle view of a section of a mountain range and slopes covered in snow and ice. Caption. Cub as narrator. What are glaciers?
Stories From the Seventh Fire
Episode 2
12 minutes 37 seconds
Grade Level: 3 - 6
Cartoon. Closeup of a freshly cut tree that was growing on a snowy slope. Sound of crashing.
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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