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5 Things Educators Should Know Before Teaching Native Culture and History

Vincent Schilling

It’s summer, and teachers across Turtle Island will probably be thinking about their lesson plans for the coming school year soon. A question was recently posed to ICTMN wondering what teachers should know before approaching American Indian culture and history with their classrooms, so we started thinking about some basic answers.

We are not saying it is necessary to share horrible details with children, however, we do believe teachers should be aware of the truth when teaching any history of this country. Here are just five things educators should know:

Columbus Was Not a Hero and He Never Landed in the United States

Very few Native Americans would argue that Christopher Columbus was a terrible person that resorted to slavery, murder and other horrifying tactics in order to secure gold for his King and Queen. He wrote of selling 9-year-old girls to his men for unimaginable acts and his men killed hundreds of thousands of indigenous people.

He also never landed in the upper 48 states nor did he ever go there, he even returned to Spain in shackles for his atrocities. To this day, Native people in the United States have fought to have Columbus Day removed as a national holiday.

Christopher Columbus presents Native Americans to Queen Isabella.

RELATED: 8 Myths and Atrocities about Christopher Columbus and Columbus Day


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choctawgirl's picture
Submitted by choctawgirl on
Yeah and if you tell anyone about Thanksgiving they will just say it is a chance for their family to get together and they are just celebrating and giving thanks. So you can't get together on any other day? That's the only day you can be thankful for things you have? I knew the whole Pocahontas thing was a lie and she was much younger but I still love the movie and it has good lessons in it. :D

choctawgirl's picture
Submitted by choctawgirl on
I love the top picture too it represents what a lot of people think and act like. Whites try to look ethnic or want to give the appearance that they have culture so they will mimic other cultures and steal their identities despite the fact a lot of these people are ignorant and prejudice.

Arthur LaPella
Arthur LaPella
Submitted by Arthur LaPella on
True enough. For more balance: Yes, the English had Indian slaves; they bought many of them from other Indians (the same happened in Africa.) The Caribs weren't exactly saints either.

Karen Evony Klipp
Karen Evony Klipp
Submitted by Karen Evony Klipp on
I agree he did not discover America, I agree he did not step foot in this country ever, I agree the whites should change History books and write the truth. However at it is ti does show an accurate truth as to the type of men that did travel here and why natives hate him and them to this day... they were an honest trusting peoples, and they were abused because of it and this was immortalized through out history by the people who ordered it done! Nothing changes rulers are all corrupt! The President wants to be one of them! Don't hold your breath about changing it.