Traditional Games The use of traditional games in the classroom not only provides students with healthy activities, but also with insight into American Indian Culture. If you are interested in attending Traditional Games Training or need assistance with the building of traditional games, please contact the Indian Education Department.
Unnatural Causes This is a site that explores possible environmental and social economic causes for various health ailments. There is a section on diabetes and federal Indian policies. There are discussion guides available to assist with using this resource in your classroom. This might be an awesome tie in for geography teachers as is discusses different cultures and locations.
Indian Relay is an exciting competitive sport steeped in tradition and pride. The award winning PBS documentary film is in school libraries and is also available at BPS Indian Education. These high school lesson plans give information about tribes and the history of the horse in North America. They also introduce the medicine wheel and concept of holistic wellness in American Indian cultures with excellent worksheets and activities for students.
Diabetes: Print Resources
Pima This site provides the history of the Pima Nation and their contributions the research being done with regard to Type II diabetes.
Here is an article and video clip about food justice and the efforts of Oglala Lakota chef Sean Sherman to restore the traditional, healthy ways of eating which were often lost in federal policies that removed American Indian people from their lands and confined them to reservations with commodity foods.
K-12 Art and Music
In the area of American Indian art and music, it is important to be aware that not all aspects of these areas are appropriate for use the your classroom. Many aspects of music and art are sacred to American Indians and because of this some activities which might be taught to American Indian Children on the reservation are not appropriate in the Urban setting. Below please find some helpful hints, background knowledge information, and ideas to assist with the implementation of Indian Education within your classroom. In Addition, our office can review materials for authenticity, provide insight into the appropriateness of activities and also provide partnerships with tribal resources to assist you with implementation in these areas of the curriculum. If you have questions, concerns or are in need of resources please contact the Indian Education For All department.
In art the building of projects with children is important, however when studying American Indian art it is important to understand the historical aspects of what you are planning to ensure that the project is appropriate for use. There are three key questions to ask:
1. Is the project sacred to American Indians? If the answer is yes then you will probably want to run the activity through a tribal resource or our staff. Here is an example of this. If you are choosing to build a parfleche with your students, there would be no problem having students replicate or copy these items, as they were traditionally used as a travel bag. However, if you were considering a project on War Shields, you would want to pay special consideration when implementing since War Shields had significant spiritual meaning to American Indians.
2. Is the project being done in an authentic way? It is important to consider the authenticity with which we implement activities. For example while it is appropriate to teach the historical background of a War Shirt and their designs to students, it would not be appropriate to have the students make a paper War Shirt with yarn fringes. Instead, having the students think about and design what they would put on a War Shirt if they were given that Honor would be appropriate. Another part of authenticity is a consideration of the materials being used. Always try to use authentic materials when possible. For example, if you are making dream catchers using paper plates and yarn would not be an respectful way to teach this aspect of culture. Instead contact our office and see how we can assist you in obtaining authentic materials.
3. Am I using American Indian Examples? There are numerous American Indian artists that can be used to teach about American Indian Art. Far to often, we use non-native artists to teach about American Indian Art. A good example of this is Paul Goble. Mr. Goble has written and illustrated many children's books based upon American Indian legends. While one can not argue his talents as an artist, he is considered quite controversial with regard to authenticity and exploitation of American Indian culture. The recommendation for the use of his materials would be at an introductory level only with follow up examples by actual American Indian artists. While there may be value in talking about the art techniques Mr. Goble uses and what he does well with regard to accuracy, don't forget to point out the things that he has misrepresented. Attached is an article with regard to the American Indian perspective on Paul Goble.
Opi Art Resource This document provides some listed resources as well as primary considerations to be made while working with the visual arts.
Rabbit Knows Gun is one of our local cultural presenters. In the Youtube clip below, Rabbit tells students at Ponderosa about his Crow Culture, ledger art and themes in his artwork.
Ideas for Infusion
Here is a list of DVD resources that have been purchased and are available at the Music Department:
History, outfit and dance. Close up and slow motion sequences show champion dancers in exciting contests. (Run Time: 30 minutes)
Fancy Shawl Dance:
Learn from champion dancers in exciting contests filmed at northern powwows. Competition footage in Crow hop and straight step styles with hundreds of colorful outfits. Includes a rare interview with one of the original Fancy Shawl dancers. (Run time: 30 minutes)
Featuring competition straight and slide step, beautiful outfit close-ups, rolling jingle cones, and history and evolution of the dance. Shot in digital video on location at northern powwows. (Run Time: 30 minutes)
Into The Circle: An Introduction to Native American Powwows
Filmed in Oklahoma, this video takes the viewer from the history of the powwow to the beauty of modern day festival of color and dance. A must for understanding the powwow structure – grand entry, song structure, competition and much more. (Run time : 60 minutes)
The following electronic and internet resources support the IEFA K-6 Music Kits
In the youtube clip below, see Billings students in the Soaring Eagle Singers drum group playing for Laurel elementary students. (Run time 2 mins)
Other examples of powwow music and dance styles
Crow Star Stories
Blackfeet Star Stories
Men's Grass Dance Crow Hop
Men's Grass Dance
The following links support 2nd Grade Music
Little Shell Chippewa
Sierra Noble and Donny Parenteau
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa go to 20:54
Dance and Music
Four Nations Breakdown
Red River Jig
Virtual Museum of Metis
This website has it all.
FOR MUSIC SAMPLES:
Click on Metis Celebration
Scroll to Music, Dance and Entertainment
Click on Singing to Keep Time
FOR DANCE SAMPLES:
Click on Steps in Time and this will take you to clips of Metis Dances. These are very grainy however the specific parts that show how to do the steps are fairly clear. You may want to use these for your own learning and find other video clips on line to demonstrate the dances for the students. Go to Basic Steps at about minute 3:31 for the steps
FOR CULTURAL INFO:
Click on Artistic Expression and you will find information on the meaning behind the sash, other traditional Metis Clothing, and Metis Beadwork, Quillwork and Embroidery
The following clips and resources support 6th grade music:
Power of the Drum The power of the drum, when accompanied by the human voice helps to maintain and revitalize American Indian cultures. Producer Mike Jetty has first-hand knowledge about both.
A Day in the Life of a Tribal Drummer Blackfeet drummers explain the cultural context and importance of drumming in their lives. (Run time 3:10)
Crow Language App is available for free download on Apple and Android devices. Search "Apsaalooke Crow" in the App store. Under "culture notes" and "audio" you can find lullabies, flag song (like a national anthem), push dance songs and songs representing different districts on the reservation.
Orchestra classes may want to look further into Native flute music. The Gift of the Elk is a collaboration between Jim Cockey, Cheyenne flutist Joseph Fire Crow and others.
Band classes may want to play "Trail of Tears" by James Barnes (with music resources sent to middle schools) or other Native themed compositions.
Band and Orchestra teachers can download the PowerPoint below as a teaching tool for American Indian instruments: drum, flute, fiddle, rattles.