Indigenous Peoples' Day

Monday October 10, 2022

Dear District 196 Staff, Teachers & Community

Monday October 10th is Indigenous Peoples Day – a holiday that celebrates and honors Native American peoples, their sovereignty, culture and gifts to Turtle Island (North America).

On this day, District 196 wants to acknowledge that our community resides within Mni Sota Makoce - A Dakota Place. This land has been the homeland of the Dakota people and the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Seven Council Fire) for every generation since their creation at Bdote.

Mni Sota - the land where waters reflect the skies - is indigenous land.

Mni Sota is also the home of the Anishinaabe and many other Indigenous Peoples who have and do contribute to the overall foundation of this region.

We encourage all members of the District 196 community to join us in learning more about the people, sovereignty and treaty rights of the Dakota, the Anishinaabe and the over 574 Indigenous communities who continue to thrive and celebrate their culture and resiliency.

District 196 has a growing Native American community. Currently, we have over 500 Indigenous students across the district representing over 55 different sovereign nations. To learn more about how District 196 supports our Indigenous students and families, please visit our American Indian Education Program website which is found under “Academics” at

Please explore the many resources listed below. We would highly recommend you visit the For our Future: An Advocate's Guide to Supporting Indigenous Peoples Day. This website was created through IllumiNative - a nonprofit initiative designed to increase the visibility of - and challenge the negative narrative about - Native Nations and peoples in American society.


*Mni Sota: Dakota Language

Ways to acknowledge this holiday at your school:

We are asking ALL of District 196 school buildings to please acknowledge this holiday at your schools and inside your classrooms.

  1. Include “Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in your morning announcements, on your morning bulletins or within your lessons if applicable.
  2. Create a “Did You Know?” fun facts into your lessons.
  3. Learn whose land you are on
  4. Read We Are Still Here a children's book on Native American history and resistance by Traci Sorell OR any #OwnVoices Native Authored Children's books
  5. Watch the episode "Grandpa's Drum" of the PBS cartoon MOLLY OF DENALI. The story skillfully and sensitively introduces young children to the history of Native American boarding schools in an age appropriate way.
  6. Unpack Myths about Christopher Columbus (Mock Trial Activity)

Please feel free to explore the following resources.

2022 Indigenous Peoples’ Day Curriculum Teach-In Sovereignty and Treaties

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2022 | 11am - 2pm

Cost: $10 (Professional development credits provided)


The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and Teaching for Change will host an online teach-in with keynote speaker Rebecca Nagle and interactive workshops.

NMAI education experts, Teaching for Change, and K–12 teachers will share curriculum and teaching strategies and explore the NMAI’s Essential Understandings for teaching about Indigenous peoples’ histories and their experiences around treaties and sovereignty today.

Keynote Speaker

Rebecca Nagle is an award winning journalist and citizen of Cherokee Nation. She is the writer and host of the podcast This Land. Her writing on Native representation, federal Indian law, and tribal sovereignty has been featured in the Atlantic, the Washington Post, The Guardian, USA Today, Indian Country Today, and more. Rebecca Nagle is the recipient of the American Mosaic Journalism Prize, Women’s Media Center’s Exceptional Journalism Award, a Peabody Nominee, and numerous awards from the Native American Journalist Association.


Exploring American Indigenous History in the 20th Century with Indian No More by Elise McMullen-Ciotti (Cherokee), editor of Indian No More at Tu Books and Katie Potter, senior literacy manager at Lee & Low Books.

Exploring Indigenous History, Resilience, and Community with The People Shall Continue by Elise McMullen-Ciotti (Cherokee), editor at Tu Books, and Katie Potter, senior literacy manager at Lee & Low Books.

Indigenous Central America by Jonathan Peraza Campos, middle school teacher and Teach Central America program specialist.

Pipeline Protests: Putting Climate Civil Disobedience Into the Curriculum by Tim Swinehart, high school teacher and co-editor of A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis.

Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity in the Caribbean by Bert Correa (Taíno), Smithsonian NMAI museum program specialist.

Teaching Treaties: Fort Wayne and the Coming of the War of 1812 by Tiferet Ani, high school teacher and curriculum writer.

Native 360 - Transforming teaching and learning about Native Americans

Native Knowledge 360° (NK360°) provides educators and students with new perspectives on Native American history and cultures. Most Americans have only been exposed to part of the story, as told from a single perspective through the lenses of popular media and textbooks. NK360° provides educational materials, virtual student programs, and teacher training that incorporate Native narratives, more comprehensive histories, and accurate information to enlighten and inform teaching and learning about Native America. NK360° challenges common assumptions about Native peoples and offers a view that includes not only the past but also the vibrancy of Native peoples and cultures today.

Recorded Webinars/Teacher Workshop Series:

Indigenous Women: Artists and Activists

2021 Indigenous Peoples' Day Teach-In Series: Land and Water:

  1. Indigenous Earth Law
  2. Making Land Acknowledgment Meaningful
  3. Native Voices in Children's Literature

The Importance of Federal Indian Policy + Understanding the Colonial and Treaty Eras

The Human Side of Removal, Allotment, and Assimilation

Policy Pendulum Swings: Tribal Reorganization, Termination, and Self-Determination

Maya Astronomy and Mathematics—Yesterday and Today

Giving Thanks: Telling More Complete Narratives about the First Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks: Exploring Thanksgiving through Indigenous Eyes

American Indian Responses to Environmental Challenges

Building More Complete Narratives about Native Americans

Native Knowledge 360° In Your Classroom

District 196 American Indian Education Program & Native American Parent Advisory Committee

We hope that your school site finds a way to meaningfully engage with Native students, families and the community at large.

Please contact your American Indian Cultural Family Advocate to learn how the American Indian Education Program can offer support to your school’s learning community.