After the overview of the achievement expectations for our students, we focused on some of the learning tools schools use to get there - in this case, books about Native Americans or that include Native Americans. These are books commonly found in media centers, leveled book rooms and classrooms all over the country. Unfortunately, many of them give an inaccurate view of Native Americans. Using a number of resources, we explored how to analyze these tools students are given to learn, either purposefully or inadvertently, about American Indians, and developed language to approach teachers, media specialists and school administration when we are uncomfortable with the message these tools impart.
Workshop participants had wonderful insights and comments both about the new achievement expectations and about the tools we put in the hands of students everywhere. I hope that I have helped developed advocates for accurate information for all students.
Many thanks to give for this experience:
the Chapel-Hill-Carrboro City Schools district
faculty and staff at Mary Scroggs Elementary School
the Sappony Tribe
United Tribes Board
Indian Housing Authority
I am humbled and grateful to be part of such caring, supportive communities both at school, my tribe and family and the community of North Carolina tribes.