The graphic on this document compares and contrasts western scientific method with Indigenous ways of knowing. It can help students focus on commonalities in these two approaches to understanding the world around us.
Biology and Environmental Science
Environmental Science offers many opportunities to infuse IEFA, such as ethnobotany. Library and internet searches will yield plenty of information from Montana tribes, including books by Crow ethnobotanist, Alma Hogan Snell.
The Pryor Mountains
Check out this website packed with information on the Pryor Mountains, 75 miles south of Billings. You and your students will find information on geology, archaeology, botany, animals and the cultural significance of this area to the Crow nation. Of particular interest is the 20 minute film, Crow Sacred Land, narrated by Crow elder, Burton Pretty On Top.
Cultural presenters are often available by contacting the Indian Education Office. This video clip captures some of the knowledge shared by Mike Comes At Night on how the Blackfeet and other Plains tribes survived winter.
Below are some good resources and curriculum on bison (buffalo) from the perspective of western science and Native tribes. Also visit the "Bison Resources" page of this website for historical primary source documents and images.
Listen to the Threshold (clickable link) series of podcasts about the near decimation of the bison and various perspectives on possibilities of bringing back free roaming bison herds in North America.
OPI has published curriculum on Crow and Blackfeet astronomy.
Contact the BPS Indian Education office for copies of curricula booklets and accompanying DVDs. The DVDs feature star stories from a western science perspective and from tribal perspectives.
Chemistry teachers may be interested in trying this lab about brain tanning developed by a teachers taking the MSU Bozeman summer course, Science Horizons.
Another option might be to include Crow and Northern Cheyenne perspectives on coal development. Student can find many articles in publications including Indian Country Today, such as Crow Tribe Inks Partnership... and Northern Cheyenne Council Unanimously Opposes... Explore official tribe websites too.
The 2014 Youtube video, Buffalo People, explains the significance of restoring bison herds to Fort Peck, Fort Belknap and other Montana reservations as well as the legal battles that the tribes have fought to do so.
Project Archaeology posted a Bison Curriculum for grades 6-9, but many of the resources could be adapted for Environmental Studies and Biology. It was created as part of a Master's thesis for the Blackfeet tribe and contains five interactive, hands-on, and student-driven units that highlight the bison’s integral role culturally, politically, socially, and ecologically both before and after Euroamerican contact.
Here is the complete PDF version of the curriculum.
Here are three Powerpoint files created for the bison curriculum, which teachers could download and adapt for their classes. They include helpful maps, pictures and learning activities.