November 2021: Native History


  1. Resources for Teaching about American Indians, by Lynn Parisi (OAH Magazine of History, Spring 1987)
    • This is an annotated bibliography of ERIC resources for teaching about Native American/Indigneous history.
  2. America as Metaphor: Using Argument to Teach about American Identity, by Geoggrey Scheurman (OAH Magazine of History, July 2006)
    • This article is about using argument/debate as a pedagogical tool. Scheurman has many philosophical points about American identity and ideals within the lesson plan that intersect with its history with colonialism that make it a good lesson for dealing with Indigneous history.
  3. Histories of Indigenous Sovereignty in Action: What is it and Why Does it Matter? by Christine DeLucia, Doug Kiel, Katrina Phillips, and Kiara Vigil (TAH, March 2021)
    • This article examines the shifting historical notions of Indigenous sovereignty by centering the voices and experiences of Indigenous actors.
  4. How to Teach Native American History: The Vexing Question of Righting History’s Wrong, by Richard Meyers (TAH, March 2021)
    • This thought-piece offers insight on how non-Native teachers can write, study, and teach about Native American history.
  5. How to Decolonize a Lesson Plan: Methods of Re-Writing Lesson Plans to Uplift Indigenous Voice, by Caitlyn (Ayoka) Wicks (TAH, March 2021)
    • This teaching article offers advice to teachers wanting to incorporate Indigenous voices into the classroom and gives concrete examples of how to tailor lesson plans on the Trail of Tears, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the Red Power movement.
  6. What We Say Matters: The Power of Words in American and Indigenous Histories, by Bryan C. Rindfleisch (TAH, February 2017)
    • This article implores educators to carefully consider and examine the words they chose to teach Indigenous histories and to avoid using stereotypical language to discuss Indigenous history.
  7. Recasting the Narrative of America: The Rewards and Challenges of Teaching American Indian History, by Ned Blackhawk (JAH, March 2007)
    • Ned Blackhawk gives practical advice to educators on how to teach Native American history in the classroom.
  8. Native Communities and the Vote – using NARA resources in the classroom by Elizabeth Marsh and Sara Lyons Davis (OAH Webinar Series Feb. 15, 2021)
    • Learn how to incorporate primary sources related to American Indian voting rights into your lessons. We will share activities and resources from the National Archives, and explore how to include discussions of evolving rights over time as related to Native Communities and the right to participate in Federal elections by looking at this important history.
  9. Teaching Native American History in a Polarized Age by Gregory Smithers (Process, November 11, 2015)
    • An article on the challenges, rewards, and options for teachers when teaching Native American history among resistant students.
  10. Native American History is the Answer to Your Coverage problems by OAH BLOG (Process Aug. 15th, 2016)
    • An article on how teachers who are concerned about covering everything that their curriculum demands in the short duration of class time and how this can be achieved through the framing of Indigneous history.

Public History

  1. Peacemaking Sites as Teaching Tools, by Stephen P. Striklan (OAH Magazine of History, Spring 1994)
    • This article proposes having students learn about peace making sites and encouraging National Parks Services to honor the peacemakers and having students involved in those processes.
  2. Early Village Life on the Plains, by Fay Metcalf and Knife River (OAH Magazine of History, Fall 1994)
    • “This lesson about Plains Indian life is based on National Register of Historic Places nomination files and other source materials about the Knife RiverIndian villages. Materials for students include (1) student handouts compiled from contemporary writings by Euro-Americans about the villages, (2) maps of the region with notes, and (3) early American paintings of the villages and the people living there.”
  3. The Ecological Indian by Brian Le Beau and Chepard Krech (Talking History, April 16 2001)
    • A talk with anthropologist Shepard Krech about the image of American Indians as natural conservationists.

Early America

  1. Does Real American History Begin with Jamestown and Plymouth?, by Jonathan M. Chu (OAH Magazine of History, Fall 1996)
    • This article will assist teachers in re-thinking through the epistemologies or assumptions underlying their syllabi as they construct survey courses or courses around early America. “Thus, when they ignore or misuse this knowledge in the construction of the American survey, they engage in a political act that trivializes or renders irrelevant those peoples or experiences which do not make it into their version of the canon.”
  2. Indigenous Peoples without the Republic, by Gregory Evans Dowd (JAH, June 2017)
    • Gregory Evans Dowd challenges the thesis that the American Revolution imperiled American Indians more than had the British Empire. Examining North America on the eve of the revolution and the British settler colonies in Canada, Australia, Southern Africa, and New Zealand afterward, Dowd suggests that the American Republic, frequently ferocious though it was, was not exceptionally so. Native American nations, moreover, seized and still retain a concept of indigenous sovereignty largely unavailable in other British settler colonies and their successor states.
  3. Bacon’s Rebellion in Indian Country, by James D. Rice (JAH, December 2014)
    • Historians have long presented Bacon’s Rebellion (1676-1677) as a critical moment in the creation of American democracy, slavery, and freedom, normally treating it as an expression of Anglo-Virginia’s social and political dynamics. James D. Rice, how­ever, argues that the rebellion is best situated within the context of Native American diplomatic systems, the boom in the Indian slave trade, and the colonists’ fears of a Catholic-Indian conspiracy against English Protestants.
  4. People of the Dawn, People of the Door: Indian Pirates and the Violent Theft of an Atlantic World, by Matthew R. Bahar (JAH, September 2014)
    • Matthew R. Bahar invites us to reconsider our understandings of natives and newcomers in early America with his exploration of an Atlantic-oriented Indian people who systematically plundered European ships, sailors, and cargo. For two centuries Indian marine-warriors managed and manipulated colonialism by forging an extractive subsidiary economy from a European Atlantic commercial nexus. This story remains forgotten, Bahar argues, because Atlantic world history and American Indian history have been two ships passing in the night, fostering a historiographical dissonance.
  5. The Power of the Ecotone: Bison, Slavery, and the Rise and Fall of the Grand Village of the Kaskaskia, by Robert Michael Morrissey (JAH, December 2015)
    • This article also part of the JAH’s “Teaching the JAH” segment. The “Teaching the JAH” project attempts to bridge this gap between the latest scholarly research and classroom teaching by supplying online “teaching packages” for selected JAH articles. These “teaching packages” demonstrate how the featured article might be used in teaching the U.S. history course. Each package includes a targeted article, brief comments from the article’s author, and a set of annotated primary-source materials intended for classroom use. Depending on the targeted article, these source materials might include illustrations, photographs, video clips, audio clips, and excerpts from other primary historical texts. The packages also include links to other history-related websites that hold additional relevant materials. For the article’s “Teaching the JAH” resources, see here
  6. History, Power, and Federal Indian Law by Gregory Ablavsky (Process, January 4 2018)
    • A history about how Law impacted and and impacts federal-Indian relations as well as how it was an ineffective tool of relationship in the early eras of Indian history.
  7. Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma, by Bryan Le Beau and Camila Townsend (Talking History, March 13 2006)
    • Pocahontas has inspired poets, filmmakers and historians, earning a place as an icon in American history. Bryan Le Beau’s guest this week, Camilla Townsend, author of Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma, sheds new light on the woman behind the myth. Townsend is a professor of history at Colgate University.
  8. Thanksgiving Myths, Thanksgiving Realities, by Bryan Le Beau and Mathew Dennis (Talking History, November 23 1998)
    • This program features a commentary by Mahtowin Monroe and Moonanum James, United American Indians of New England, on why Thanksgiving is a day or mourning for them.
  9. Changing Views of Christopher Columbus, by Bryan Le Beau and James Axtell (Talking History, October 12 1998)
    • This program also features another view of Columbus by William Keegan, Curator of Caribbean Archeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History.


  1. Borderlands, Diasporas, and Transnational Crossings: Teaching LGBT Latina and Latino Histories, by Horacio N Roque Ramírez (OAH Magazine of History, March 2006)
    • This article sits at the intersections of LGBT, Diaspora, and Latine studies and gives teacher instructions, notes on language, and student objectives for covering these topics in the classroom.
  2. : Where Cultures Meet, by Frances Levine, Gini Griego, Wendy Leighton, Dino Roybal, and Pecos Pueblo (OAH Magazine of History, Summer 2000)
    • “Texts, videos, historic photographs, and Internet web sites can tie the lessons of Pecos Pueblo to the larger context of the Spanish Borderlands history of the United States. Below we outline a series of activities that use Pecos Pueblo to examine these larger questions of cultural contact, cultural change, and the continuity of traditions in the Spanish Borderlands.”
  3. “There isn’t no trouble at all if the state law would keep out”: Indigenous People and New York’s Carceral State, by Christopher Clements (JAH September 2021)
    • Christopher Clements examines the history of racialized policing practices, jurisdictional disputes, and tribal governance in and around reservation communities in New York. Focusing primarily on the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, which straddles the U.S.- Canada border, he asks how carceral state development affected Indigenous people and lands and how carcerality intertwined with settler colonialism during the first half of the twentieth century.
  4. Culture Clash: Foreign Oil and Indigenous People in Northern Veracruz, Mexico, 1900–1921 By: Myrna Santiago (JAH, June 2012)
    • This article details how the actions of Indigenous people in Northern Veracruz against foriegn oil companies helped shape Mexico’s eventual nationalization of the oil industry in 1938.
  5. Borderlands in a World at Sea: Concow Indians, Native Hawaiians, and South Chinese in Indigenous, Global, and National Spaces, by David A. Chang (JAH, September 2011)
    • This article seeks to move the conception of borderlands beyond that of contact between two nation-states in a fixed geographic location. Recognizing people as indigenous in a borderlands context becomes more complex and more urgent given the fact that they often moved beyond the borders of their original homelands under compulsion (as in the case of the Concow) or were citizens of nations that, while struggling against colonialism, were still recognized as territorial sovereigns
  6. From Captives to Slaves: Commodifying Indian Women in the Borderlands, by Juliana Barr (JAH June 2005)
    • This article explores the diverse nature of women’s slavery to show how women were held and used as not only economic but also social and political capital.

Western/Frontier History:

  1. Early Reflections on Teaching Western History, by David M. Wrobel (OAH Magazine of History, Fall 1994)
    • This article discusses teaching a course about myths and realities of westward expansion. The course discusses federal-Indian relations in the third segment of the course and Wrobel talks about how this framework of myths and realities opens up possibilities for an amalgam of different histories.
  2. Resources for Teaching About the Frontier, by David Seiter (OAH Magazine of History, Spring 1988)
    • This is an annotated bibliography of ERIC resources for teaching Frontier history.
  3. American Pathfinders: Using Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles to Teach Frontier History, by Debotah Wielgot Schmalholz (OAH Magazine of History, Winter 1999)
    • This is a full and complete lesson plan with handouts about cultural conflicts and violence resulting from Manifest Destiny. This can be taught with or without the use of Bradbury’s work, making it appropriate for multiple class styles.
  4. Accounting for Conquest: The Price of the Louisiana Purchase of Indian Country By: Robert Lee (JAH March 2017)
    • After paying France $15 million for the Louisiana Purchase, the United States spent far more to extinguish Native American title to that land. Just how much has eluded historians. Robert Lee, in the essay that won the 2016 Louis Pelzer Award, revises the standard estimate dramatically upward by tracking federal expenditures for Indian soil rights within the Louisiana Territory made between 1804 and 2012. He uses a methodology that organizes forensic accounting data from Indian claims cases in a custom-built geodatabase of Indian land cessions.
  5. The Rise and Fall of Plains Indian Horse Cultures, by Pekka Hämäläinen (JAH, December 2003)
    • This article chronicles both the positive and negative impacts of how horse culture shaped the history of the Plains Indian.
  6. Statehood and Other Events: Whales, Alaska Natives, and Perspectives on History by Bathsheba Demuth (Process, August 12, 2019)
    • A blog post about the what the narrative of United States history might look like from the vantage point of Alaska’s Indigenous nations or of the non-human beings who were also victims of European colonization.


  1. Evading Indian Removal in the American South By: Jane Dinwoodie (JAH June 2021)
    • Indian removal serves as an important pivot in survey courses: as Native Nations move from east to west, master narratives shift from stories of an Indigenous continent to tales of an American East. Jane Dinwoodie challenges this narrative, exploring the histories of the thousands of Indigenous southerners who avoided removal. She chronicles a strategy she calls evasion: a process by which these Indigenous southerners seized the South’s most difficult terrains to eschew agents. Indigenous southerners used evasion to resist colonial control and sustain an Indigenous South that endures today.
  2. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Civilizations: Indian Intellectual Culture during the Removal Era By: Christina Snyder (JAH September 2017)
    • Before the Indian Removal Act, many eastern Native Americans adopted social and cultural expectations of U.S. “civilization policy” in an attempt to remain in their homelands. But what happened to those peoples and those ideas in the wake of removal? Christina Snyder examines this question by focusing on native students at Choctaw Academy, the first federal Indian school. Snyder demonstrates that these native men, first as teenage students in the 1830s and later as tribal leaders, participated in a transatlantic intellectual culture. This article also is part of the JAH’s “Teaching the JAH” segment. The “Teaching the JAH” project attempts to bridge this gap between the latest scholarly research and classroom teaching by supplying online “teaching packages” for selected JAH articles. These “teaching packages” demonstrate how the featured article might be used in teaching the U.S. history course. Each package includes a targeted article, brief comments from the article’s author, and a set of annotated primary-source materials intended for classroom use. Depending on the targeted article, these source materials might include illustrations, photographs, video clips, audio clips, and excerpts from other primary historical texts. The packages also include links to other history-related websites that hold additional relevant materials. For the article’s “Teaching the JAH” resources, see here

Death/Colonialism’s Legacy:

  1. Teaching the History of Death in Colonial North America, by Erik R. Seeman (OAH Magazine of History, January 2011)
    • This article talks about the benefits and stakes of talking about death in the classroom. It also discusses how to discuss the legacy of colonialism and mass death in a few specific case studies for colonial North America.
  2. Germs, Genocides, and America’s Indigenous Peoples, by Tai S. Edwards and Paul Kelton (JAH, June 2020)
    • Many people argue that genocides took place in the Americas. Others believe that germs, independent of human agency and unintentionally introduced during colonization, primarily killed natives. Tai S. Edwards and Paul Kelton analyze the “germs-versus-genocide debate” and show how both sides employ the flawed conclusions about introduced diseases made some four decades ago. Both sides ignore revisionist scholarship, which demonstrates how germs, colonial violence, and depopulation were connected processes. This revisionism thus debunks the use of germs to deny American genocides.
  3. Native Foods and the Colonial Gaze by Michael Wise (Process, January 10, 2017)
    • “Our frame for writing Native food history should not be a chronicle of disaster, decline, and “rediscovery,” but, instead, a narrative that identifies and analyzes ongoing struggles to negotiate specific food relationships that have centered Native lives, bodies, places, and identities across more than five centuries of colonial experiences. Such a project offers more than just a new set of historiographical quibbles. It promises a scholarly conversation that takes seriously how Native understandings of food, in its multitude of relations, have continually engaged modern transformations in agricultural land and labor, in industrial processing and production, in distribution, retailing, marketing, cooking, and other realms of continental and global food systems.”
  4. The Politics of Statehood in Hawai’i and the Urgency of Non-Statist Decolonization by J. KĒHAULANI KAUANUI (Process, September 5 2019)
    • Kauanui discusses Hawaiian history and the illegal taking of the Islands. Through this discussion an argument is made about what decolonization looks like in a Hawaiian context.
  5. Indigenous Erasure in Caribbean Histories of Colonization by Carolyn Arena (Process, October 8 2018)
    • Through a framing of the myths of Columbus, Arena argues that past and present erasure of Indigenous peoples in the Caribbean has effects on modern Indigneous communities and politics.
  6. Rereading Blank Spaces in the Colonial Caribbean by Tessa Murphy (Process, October 2 2018)
    • “The idea that European absence may point to indigenous persistence is not new to historians of colonial North America. Yet in much scholarship on the Caribbean, the latter half of the seventeenth century continues to mark a historical and historiographic moment in which indigenous people largely disappear from view.”
  7. How Maps reveal, and Conceal, History by Susan Schulten (Process, September 13 2018)
    • An article comparing the different types and uses of maps between Europeans and Native Americans.
  8. Wounded Knee: 25 Years Later, by Bryan Le Beau and Kevin McKiernan (Talking History, December 14 1998)
    • This program features a commentary on the changes in Native American relations since Wounded Knee by Creighton professor and photojournalist Fr. Don Doll, S.J., creator of the CD and book Vision Quest.

Red Power:

  1. The Histories They are A-Changin’: Sources for Teaching about the Movements of the 1960s, by Beth Bailey and David Farber (OAH Magazine of History, October 2006)
    • This article is generally about teaching civil rights but includes a couple teaching resources that would assist in teaching red power: Terry Anderson’s The Movement and the Sixties: Protest in America from Greensboro to Wounded Knee (1995) and Alexander Bloom and Wini Breines’s “Takin’ It To The Streets”: A Sixties Reader (second edition, 2002).
  2. “Modern America Desperately Needs to Listen”: The Emerging Indian in an Age of Environmental Crisis By: Paul C. Rosier (JAH, December 2013)
    • Paul C. Rosier examines American Indians’ perspectives on the “environmental crisis” that shook American society in the 1960s and 1970s. Indian activists, politicians, and intellectuals promoted ecological issues tied to political and legal questions of sovereignty commonly associated with Indians’ “red power” movement, while collaborating with non-Indians on environmental problems to find political support and common ground. Rosier addresses the neglect of American Indians in coverage of the 1960s and modern environmental activism.