For almost 30 years the Organization of American Historians has partnered with the National Park Service to bring leading scholarship to bear on the presentation of history at our national parks. As part of Native American Heritage Month, OAH is highlighting two public history resources that expand our understanding, teaching and presentation of Indigenous histories.
Published in December 2020, “War of 1812: Teaching American Indian History” is a primary source-based resource for educators who are interested in providing a nuanced depiction of Native American History to their students. The book was authored by Dan Eshet under the OAH partnership with the National Park Service’s Northeast Region History Program. Beginning with the French and Indian War, and continuing to follow indigenous histories into the 1930s, this project was designed as a teaching resource for K-12 educators. The book includes primary source documents, discussion questions, and various classroom activities to aid in the teaching and understanding of indigenous histories in the classroom. Thematic chapters provide historic context and challenge students to think critically about what they are learning, and the broader implications on American history. Resources are provided that invite students to consider the impact of stereotypes, and how the aspects of religion and self-indulgence contributed to the displacement of American Indians.
“Colonial Saratoga: War and Peace on the Borderlands of Early America” is a historic resource study produced through a collaboration between the OAH, NPS, and the Saratoga National Historical Park. Written by David Preston and published in 2018, this resource study makes contributions to indigenous and borderland histories. Preston tells the story of how the Iroquois Confederacy, the Algonquians, French colonies and northern British colonies all interacted with one another to ultimately determine the future of North America. In an attempt to break away from the historical trend of discussing the role of empires, Preston examines how local communities living at these borders impacted the trajectory of these borderland regions. Preston notes, “For most of its colonial history, Saratoga remained a largely Indian world in which colonists came to live and trade” making this an essential resource study not only for the month of November, but for the larger history of indigenous peoples in North America.