October 31, 2008

Teaching about the Penobscots

A native spin on the ABCs

Penobscot Nation workshop provides tools to teach American Indian history, cultureA is for ash tree, alewives and arrowheads. B is for birch bark, blueberries and baskets. C is for crooked knife, caribou and canoe.

Teachers at the Penobscot Nation know there’s more to learning the ABCs than apples, baseballs and cats. Now, along with a statewide coalition of partners, the tribe is setting out to ensure that every public school student in Maine is encouraged to think more broadly about the world. In addition, the Penobscots and their project partners are helping Maine teachers and the school districts they work for comply with a recent state law and an addendum to Maine Learning Results.

At a daylong workshop on Indian Island on Tuesday, a dozen teachers from schools in Bar Harbor, Skowhegan, Jonesport and beyond got their hands on some new classroom resources aimed at broadening students’ understanding of American Indian history and culture. They also got a quick review of tribal government, language, economics, arts, medicine and more.
Comment:  For more on the teaching of Native cultures, see Eyes Trained on Montana.

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