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Monday, June 23, 2014

What Should I Keep In Mind When Planning Lessons for Children? by CFT

Learn about a specific Nation (and use the name they want to be called - Wampanoag, Arawak, Cherokee, Diné, which is their name for Navajo, etc.) via:
- visiting/talking with someone from that group
- taking a course
- reading about that group (with authors being from that group)
- watching authentic movies (or understanding what is true and not true in pretty good Native movies)
- listening to authentic music
- going to a museum that knows what it's doing
- etc.

Once you have your background, then find a way to give it to students

- "mini lecture"
- video clip (there are many on Youtube)
- book (by a First Nations author)
- etc.

- only talking about First Nations in the past tense
- using certain words (costume, tribe, Indian, etc.)
- giving "Indian names" - you wouldn't give "confirmation names" out of context
- etc.

Make sure
- contemporary images and language is used
- present day role models are referenced
- to emphasize that we are contemporary people, 78% living OFF reservation, and there is a range of who "traditional" an individual is
- to remember that our spirituality, and accompanying cultural traditions, are akin to someone else's religious traditions, often done in the context of a church, temple, or synagogue.
- etc.

Tell kids the "rules" as I have done above
- not everyone agrees
- defer to the First Nations person
- always be respectful (no laughing, etc.)
- etc.

Do the activity in a respectful way