In an try to meet up with requests from academics and school districts in the course of the country, the Citizen Potawatomi Country Department of Education and learning commenced composing lesson programs about Potawatomi historical past in 2021. The to start with one particular accessible now tells the story of the Potawatomi Path of Demise.
“I’m genuinely proud that we have some thing to provide educators or citizens now when they talk to, ‘How can I include Citizen Potawatomi Country into our classroom?’ We’ve been questioned that for many years,” said CPN Department of Instruction Director Tesia Zientek.
To assure exact material, university advisors Matt Higdon and Rachel Watson spearheaded a panel of major instruction experts and historians, which includes CPN’s Cultural Heritage Middle Director Dr. Kelli Mosteller, to compose the lesson strategy. The crew applied their know-how and practical experience in Indian training, condition specifications and curriculum writing as perfectly as Potawatomi background.
“We also had some input from Norman Public Universities. Lucyann Harjo, Indian Schooling Director more than at Norman (Community Colleges), introduced some individuals above, and so we have been able to type of beta check it with them. And they gave us some actually great feedback that helped us with the ultimate lesson plan,” Higdon claimed.
‘Looking at background from distinct details of view’
The compelled removing of Potawatomi from Indiana to Kansas took place above two months in the drop of 1838. More than 40 of the 859 Potawatomi passed absent in the course of the 660-mile journey, mostly thanks to the harsh situations or sickness. Most Native historical past instruction in the United States refers to the Cherokee Path of Tears and not often mentions other Native American communities’ identical ordeals.
“Just by this small sprinkling of, ‘Hey, here’s a tribal country that has a removal tale that you’ve almost certainly never heard of, and everybody has a single.’ … I think which is the key thrust. Let us get started looking at record from various points of view than just the conventional points of check out,” Higdon explained.
In addition to the dates, situations and places, the lesson consists of interactive parts, these kinds of as an 11-moment stroll created to depict the 660 miles. Together the way, the college students end for shorter periods equating to each working day along the path and listen to historic accounts from diary entries and created communication.
Given that Potawatomi customarily use oral storytelling, most of the major resources for the lesson plan arrive from non-Native peoples — a lesson in itself.
“There’s also an explanation for lecturers and college students as to why these are the only main resources we have from this era,” Watson said. “And I assume that, mixed with the oral storytelling exercise, genuinely hammers house the way unique resources are valued or have been valued by historians and also opens the doorway for people sorts of different main resources that learners may well not have thought about right before the lesson.”
The office wrote the lesson approach optimally for a seventh or eighth-grade classroom on the other hand, they made modifying it uncomplicated for lecturers for elementary or large university-aged college students. Oklahoma educational specifications introduce elimination in 3rd grade.
“The facts can turn out to be extra nuanced, or even some of the a lot more grotesque specifics can be explored in extra depth the older a student is. But at a youthful age, persons can have an understanding of that history is a tale, and it matters who’s telling it,” Zientek claimed.
As a ultimate part, the lesson asks students to make an audio recording of their working experience on their stroll and listening to the historic narratives, placing them selves in the sneakers of the Potawatomi forcibly taken off from their homelands.
“That is why we have these prepared very first-hand accounts and not the accounts from our ancestors the way we would have hoped. But we’re inquiring students to fully grasp that, knowledge it, and then turn out to be a portion of our oral document,” Zientek stated.
Contest released to help advertise learning
The education office staff also designed a contest to persuade lecture rooms to make use of the means and advertise scholar engagement. They are inquiring participants to ship in audio recordings of their reflection on the working experience for the prospect to get money prizes, a pizza party and be featured on the Tribe’s podcast, Hownikan Podcast. Nevertheless, the intention stretches even further than the rewards.
“That’s a person of my greatest hopes is that it will commence pulling that thread, and we can pull that thread with actually younger learners,” Higdon stated. “I believe the more youthful, the much better. Early college students, if they can begin seeing that entire world that way, it can seriously open up their minds and open up the likely for education and learning, significantly background education.”
When the aim stays on the earlier, the team also hopes to carry CPN users and Indigenous people today into the current working day for college students by means of that conversation and inspire them to investigate extra means to teach on their own about the Nation and other tribes.
“I think what’s been most enjoyable for me is that this is just a single lesson strategy, but it’s also only the beginning,” Watson mentioned.
The team proceeds to perform on the subsequent lesson about the Oklahoma land operates and their outcome on Citizen Potawatomi displacement.
Access the lesson plan online at potawatomiheritage.com/classroom. Enter the classroom contest at cpn.information/todpod through May possibly 6, 2022.
Come across out much more about the CPN Section of Education at cpn.news/education, and e-mail opinions or matter thoughts at [email protected].