Resources for Indigenous People Day

Today is Columbus Day. As a child you probably remember it as a day that Columbus “discovered America” after getting lost on his way to India. The Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria ships set sail in 1492. They arrived in Haiti. After meeting natives, “Indians”, he collected gold and spices, and was celebrated by Queen Isabella.

Illustration – Kimmy Gudino

And in school, we colored in large ship cutouts, sang songs, and made little feather headpieces. It was fun!

We learned about the history of the US. Indians became friends with the explorers and celebrated the first “thanksgiving”. We learned for years that while there were “wars”, we were here to help the natives by civilizing them, giving modern medicine and gun powder.

It was a sham. White washed history covering injustice, genocide, slavery, and theft. The destruction of peoples was rallied by the perpetrators as “civilizing” them for the crown. Education in the country celebrated the genocide and destruction for 200 years. We dismissed teaching history, we extolled the virtues of Manifest Destiny, and, we even condoned misrepresenting another group of people, the Indians of India. (There’s nothing like growing up in America and being asked – “are you the red dot Indian or the feather Indian?”)

Today my kiddo is in kindergarten. A lot has changed. Our school does not celebrate it as Columbus Day. Work has given the day off for reflection. And many Americans know we didn’t “get” the land, we stole the land.

Living in California, I researched northern California native tribes so we could learn a little more about the ancestral land. I didn’t find resources for the youngest school children (kindergarten/1st grade) as I felt doing random coloring activities was inappropriate.

Instead I’ve included resources of native Americans on Instagram (a lot of amazing people), tribal councils websites and videos. Not all of it is for little kids, so please read around and pull what is age appropriate. If you have suggestions, please let me know and I would be glad to update.

Do’s and Don’ts for teaching Native history in Kindergarten. – Rebecca Gineapp.

International Indigenous Youth Council on Instagram.

Deonoveigh Mitchell (Deon) – artist on Instagram.

Melanin Mvskoke – activist, Instagram.

Juniper Dine Designs – design shop, Instagram link.

Native Land – Whose Land do You live On? website.


Northern California Indian Development Council – site

California Tribal Groups + Indigenous languages

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