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Where Words Touch the Earth (Grades 3-12)

Alaska Native Perspectives on Earth and Climate (Grades 3-12)

Take a fascinating look at Native American art, history, and culture as told through the historians, artists, students, and scientists in this featured resource collection.

 

The Cherokee Alphabet


Video

The Cherokee Alphabet

This video segment adapted from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: “We Shall Remain” explains how a Cherokee man named Sequoyah developed an alphabet for the Cherokee language, and how that alphabet changed and strengthened Cherokee society.

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 2005
  • Favorites: 83
Julia Parker: Visual Arts (Basket Weaving)


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Julia Parker: Visual Arts (Basket Weaving)

In this Spark video produced by KQED, travel to Yosemite with Julia Parker who is helping revive the art form of Native American basket weaving.

  • Grades: K-13+
  • Views: 1741
  • Favorites: 55
We are the Music


Media Gallery

We are the Music

Explore the 700-year history of Santa Fe, New Mexico through the music and dance of 11 cultural groups.

  • Grades: 3-4
  • Views: 1249
  • Favorites: 86
Up Heartbreak Hill: Factors in a Successful College Experience


Media Gallery

Up Heartbreak Hill: Factors in a Successful College Experience

In this lesson from POV, students watch clips from the film Up Heartbreak Hill, a documentary that follows two Navajo high school students during their senior year as they struggle with forming their identities and managing family relationships.

  • Grades: 9-12
  • Views: 310
  • Favorites: 18
Santa Fe Indian School Students Explore Identity Through Verse


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Santa Fe Indian School Students Explore Identity Through Verse

Through verse, members of the Spoken Word Club at the Santa Fe Indian School articulate identities both modern and traditional.

  • Grades: 6-13+
  • Views: 397
  • Favorites: 43
Native American Culture: Cherokee Singer


Video

Native American Culture: Cherokee Singer

Cherokee singer Paula Nelson performs a learning song that teaches a greeting and farewell in Cherokee. In the second part of the segment, Nelson says that the Cherokee people are a “water people” and performs a song called “It’s Going to Rain.”

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Views: 741
  • Favorites: 76
Identify Cultural Influences - Hiawatha


Lesson Plan

Identify Cultural Influences - Hiawatha

Students identify aspects of Native American life represented in the poem Hiawatha.

  • Grades: 5-8
  • Views: 1259
  • Favorites: 48
Scientist Profile: Renewable Energy Scientist


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Scientist Profile: Renewable Energy Scientist

In this video profile, renewable energy engineer Sandra Begay-Campbell works to bring alternative energy sources to parts of the Navajo nation without electricity.

  • Grades: 4-6
  • Views: 338
  • Favorites: 59
Scientist Profile: Ethnobotanist


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Scientist Profile: Ethnobotanist

In this video profile, ethnobotanist Dave Morris studies how native peoples in Arizona gathered plant materials for buildings, utilitarian objects, and spiritual uses.

  • Grades: 4-6
  • Views: 164
  • Favorites: 32
Living With the Land


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Living With the Land

This video segment adapted from American Experience tells the story of how some Native American tribes once migrated the length of the North American continent to find the resources they needed.

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 1286
  • Favorites: 121
Dawes Act (1887) and Resource Materials


Media Gallery

Dawes Act (1887) and Resource Materials

Approved in Feb. 1887, "An Act to Provide for the Allotment of Lands in Severalty to Indians on the Various Reservations," aka the Dawes Act, emphasized severalty, the treatment of Native Americans as individuals rather than as members of tribes.

  • Grades: 6-13+
  • Views: 477
  • Favorites: 44
Native American Culture: Cherokee Eagle Dance


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Native American Culture: Cherokee Eagle Dance

The Warriors of AniKituhwa perform the Eagle Dance at the 2006 Festival of Native Peoples. Like other dances from Cherokee culture, the Eagle Dance serves as a to share memories and preserve cultural traditions.

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 1168
  • Favorites: 56
Native American Culture: Navajo Shaker Dance


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Native American Culture: Navajo Shaker Dance

The Pollen Trail Dancers perform the Navajo Shaker Dance, also called the Buffalo Dance. Artistic director Albert Brent Chase explains that the Shaker Dance is a healing dance that is part of the Fire Dance Ceremony.

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 822
  • Favorites: 46
Native American Culture: The Dreamcatcher


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Native American Culture: The Dreamcatcher

Susan Mullins (Kwaronhia:wi), a Mohawk from the Kahnawake reserve in Canada who now resides in Berea, Ky., shows her grandchildren how to create a dreamcatcher, an item designed to catch bad dreams and let good dreams through.

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 706
  • Favorites: 55
Native American Culture: Git-Hoan Chief's Headdress Dance


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Native American Culture: Git-Hoan Chief's Headdress Dance

Three dancers of the Git-Hoan troupe perform the Chief’s Headdress Dance celebrating the meaning found in the leader’s ceremonial headwear. The Git-Hoan are descendants of the Tsimshian people of northwest Canada and Alaska.

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 221
  • Favorites: 31
Native American Culture: About Apache Dances


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Native American Culture: About Apache Dances

The Apache Crown Dancers are members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and live in Whiteriver, Ariz. In this video segment, the group leader, Joe Tohonnie, Jr., talks about the history of dance and its role in Apache culture.

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 740
  • Favorites: 39
Native American Culture: About Git-Hoan Dances


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Native American Culture: About Git-Hoan Dances

David Boxley of the Git-Hoan Dancers discusses dance traditions of the Tsimshian, whose descendants live on the Northwest coast of northern British Columbia and in southeastern Alaska.

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 200
  • Favorites: 30
Native American Culture: Zuni Harvest Dance


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Native American Culture: Zuni Harvest Dance

Arden Kucate gives background on the Zuni culture and the harvest celebration, explains the significance of Zuni boys being presented gourd shakers, and teaches a group of middle school students two dances from the Zuni harvest celebration.

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 593
  • Favorites: 35
Native American Culture: Little Deer and Mother Earth


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Native American Culture: Little Deer and Mother Earth

Marilou Awiakta, of Cherokee/Appalachian heritage, tells a traditional Cherokee story in which humans are killing too many of their animal relatives, threatening the delicate balance of nature.

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 692
  • Favorites: 49
Native American Culture: Git-Hoan Raven Dance


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Native American Culture: Git-Hoan Raven Dance

The Git-Hoan Dancers perform the Raven Dance, a celebration of the Raven Clan. They wear masks representing the clan. In Tsimshian culture, the wearer of a mask is said to take on the spirit of the creature it signifies.

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 466
  • Favorites: 31