American Indian Studies in Wisconsin
The resources included on this webpage have been selected to illustrate ways in which teachers can integrate and infuse Wisconsin American Indian Studies content into their instruction and practice. The information from each of these resources can be woven into a school district’s curriculum through a balanced, comprehensive, and aligned framework adaptable to local circumstances.
Furthermore, each of these suggested resources are intended to help teachers and students of all ages and in all communities make the connection between the knowledge, skills, and ways of knowing for teaching and learning about each of the eleven federally recognized Wisconsin American Indian nations and tribal communities. These resources provide information that allows for Wisconsin American Indian Studies content to be fully included in a school district’s curriculum.
The following videos provide discussions about and examples of how to successfully integrate or infuse content around American Indian Studies Wisconsin Act 31 in Wisconsin public school districts.
- A teacher at Black River Falls High School, Paul Rykken is known for his innovative approach in using Culturally Responsive Teaching when integrating American Indian Studies into middle and high school classrooms. Wisconsin First Nations | Exemplar Profile: Paul Rykken
- A social studies teacher at Prescott High School, Jeff Ryan witnessed the challenges faced by Wisconsin’s Native people, which influenced his passion for infusing American Indian Studies in his classroom. Wisconsin First Nations is a rich collection of classroom, library, and professional learning resources provides PK-12 educators with high-quality materials for the teaching of American Indian Studies in Wisconsin. Wisconsin First Nations | Exemplar Profile: Jeff Ryan
- A third grade elementary teacher at Bowler Elementary School, Lori Mueller partners with the community and connects with the Wisconsin Native nations to teach her students about American Indians. Wisconsin First Nations | Exemplar Profile: Lori Mueller
- A former teacher at the Tomah Middle School, Priscilla Cleveland, has a passion for teaching American Indian Studies. She teamed with her school’s social studies committee to develop curriculum to fulfill Wisconsin Act 31 requirements. Wisconsin First Nations | Exemplar Profile: Priscilla Cleveland
*The inclusion of any material or resources on this page should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Educators are encouraged to preview all the resources and materials and to use their own judgment about appropriateness depending on grade level and/or class preparedness.
The WisconsinFirstNations.org website is meant to support administrators, teachers, librarians, and many others in exploring a rich collection of educational videos, professional development resources and materials, lesson plan for all grades, and learning tools for your classroom and libraries. This website is to help school districts or libraries integrate information on Wisconsin’s American Indian nations and tribal communities into their curriculum.
Furthermore, teacher professional learning resources are also provided, including a Frequently Asked Questions section for answering hard-to-ask questions you may have when teaching about Native cultures, and exemplar videos featuring Wisconsin teachers modeling how to incorporate American Indian Studies into students’ everyday learning.
The resources available from the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) Press and Education Services include classroom tools, primary resources, an e-newsletter, an education listserv, and various publications. These materials and resources have been selected to illustrate ways in which teachers and others can include, integrate, and/or infuse American Indian Studies content into instruction and practice.
The information from each of these resources can be woven into a school or district’s curriculum through a balanced, comprehensive, and aligned framework adaptable to local circumstances.
- Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal (Revised 2nd Edition) with a “Understand By Design” Lesson Plan Framework Teaching Guide
- Native People of Wisconsin: Revised and Expanded Edition with a Teacher’s Guide and Student Materials
Here is a list of other resources and materials available from the WHS:
- A Nation within a Nation: Voices of the Oneida Wisconsin
- Aztalan: Mysteries of an Ancient Indian Town
- Electa Quinney: Stockbridge Teacher
- Good Seeds: A Menominee Indian Food Memoir
- Hidden Thunder: Rock Art of the Upper Midwest
- How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century with Poetry Lesson Plan
- Little Hawk and the Lone Wolf: A Memoir
- Mountain Wolf Woman: A Ho-Chunk Girlhood
- Seventh Generation Earth Ethics
- Skunk Hill: A Native Ceremonial Community in Wisconsin
- People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families
- People of the Sturgeon: Wisconsin’s Love Affair with an Ancient Fish
- The Bingo Queens of Oneida
- The Story of Act 31: How Native History Came to Wisconsin Classrooms
- Water Panthers, Bears, and Thunderbird: Exploring Wisconsin’s Effigy Mounds
- Wisconsin Indians: Revised and Expanded Edition
Additionally, the book Wisconsin Indian Literature: Anthology of Native Voices is available through the Wisconsin Historical Society Store. This book is a unique anthology that presents the oral traditions, literature, and historically significant documents of the current Wisconsin American Indian nations and tribal communities.
In addition, check out the book Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask, which includes “matter-of-fact responses to over 120 questions, both thoughtful and outrageous, modern and historical.”
Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) Tribal Histories features tribal community members, elders, and storytellers sharing the cultures and oral traditions of their nations that have shaped their communities across generations. The series of half-hour programs will present the histories, cultures, and traditions of all eleven federally recognized Wisconsin’s American Indian nations and tribal communities, plus one nation that is seeking to regain its federal recognition status. The following documentaries are released in the Tribal Histories project:
- Bad River Ojibwe History
- Brothertown History
- Ho-Chunk Nation History
- Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe History
- Lac du Flambeau History
- Menominee History
- Mole Lake Ojibwe History
- Oneida History
- Potawatomi History
- Red Cliff Ojibwe History
- St. Croix Ojibwe History
- Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican History
In addition, WPT has numerous other relevant resources, documentaries, an image gallery, various maps, and outreach activities:
- Native Journeys
- Ojibwe History
- Ojibwe Music
- Since 1634: In the Wake of Nicolet
- Way of the Warrior
- When Wisconsin Was New France
This series of 4-5 minute videos feature information on each of the eleven federally recognized American Indian nations and tribal communities in Wisconsin. These videos also include present day examples of the daily lives of Wisconsin American Indian people and tribal communities. Here is list of videos from The Ways project:
- Clan Mother: Healing the Community
- Hunting Deer: Sharing The Harvest
- Lady Thunderhawks: Leading The Way
- Lake Superior Whitefish: Carrying On a Family Tradition
- Language Apprentice: Bringing Back The Ho-Chunk Language
- Living Language: Menominee Language Revitalization
- Manoomin: Food That Grows On Water
- Prayers In A Song: Learning Language Through Hip Hop
- Pow Wow Trail: Keeping The Beat
- Spearfishing: A Living History
- Waadookodaading: Ojibwe Language Immersion School
- Warriors Boxing: Fighting for Our People
A second series of resources from the WPT Education are the Wisconsin Biographies, “a collection of media to enrich the social studies and literacy curriculum, using the stories of notable figures in Wisconsin history. For each story, a 3-5 minute animated video engages learners of all ages. The content was designed around 4th grade standards, but is appropriate for use with younger and older students.” Two stories in particular to reference are the following:
Other resources available from the Wisconsin Public Television Education, formerly Wisconsin Media Lab, that include content and information about Wisconsin American Indian people and communities are the following: ENGAGE! State. Tribal. Local Government, which includes interviews with and videos about Judge Amanda Rockman, Ojibwe Treaty Rights, and Tribal Courts.
The Ningo Gikinonwin: Ojibwe Four Seasons Series depicts the traditional hunting, fishing and gathering activities of each season as practiced by human inhabitants of North America before traders and settlers from Europe arrived. The series shows how these same traditional activities are practiced today by Native American descendants who live in the Great Lakes region.
Additionally, there is Hometown Stories, which is ten programs, for grades 2 through 12 in social studies that traces the evolution of a specific community in Wisconsin through the stories of its residents.
We Are Healers is a digital media resource featuring stories of American Indian health professionals. We Are Healers “aims to inspire American Indian youth to envision themselves as dentists, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, etc., all through stories of Native role-models. To this end, We Are Healers endorse healthy, active lifestyles and encourage youth to harness the strength of their tribal ‘healing tradition’ as they explore educational opportunities."
- Aaron Robinson: Medicine and Public Health
- Dr. Amanda Bruegl: Gynecological Oncology
- Dr. Amy Delong: Family Medicine
- Dr. Arne Vainio: Family Medicine
- Dr. Brett Benally Thompson: Palliative Care Family Medicine
- Dr. David Baines: Family Medicine
- Dr. Erik Brodt: Family Medicine
- Kala Cornelius: Community Health Nurse
- Lakita Maulson: Medical Student
- Trisha Patton: Dental Therapist
- Whitney Schreiber: Diabetes Outreach Nurse
The resources available from GLIFWC include an opportunity to subscribe to the GLIFWC newspaper Mazina'igan, as well as booklets, written supplements, posters, books, maps, educational media, videos such as Ojibwe Treaty Rights: Connections to Land & Water, and other educational brochures available for purchase. Each of these materials and resources are available through GLIFWC Education Materials and Treaty Rights sections.
Links to Other Instructional or Related Resources:
An important consideration when looking for good literature and written resources is to determine the historical and cultural accuracy of the materials and resources. The following links are for online guidance documents on how to determine the accuracy of books and other resources as well as to lists of vetted materials regarding American Indian Studies.
- American Indian Children’s Literature (AICL)
- American Indian Library Association
- Birchbark Books
- Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC)
- Native American Literature
- Native Voices Books
News and Media Sources
The following links are to media resources, television, and radio that cover
s news and entertainment for and about American Indian nations and tribal communities across Wisconsin, the United States, and Canada.
- Indian Country Today
- News from Indian Country
- Native News Online
- Native Report
- Travel Wisconsin (Native Culture)
- Vision Maker Media: Native Stories for Public Broadcasting
- WOJB Radio
For a more extensive list of additional resources, please go to the DPI American Indian Studies Program Bibliography Series section. Additionally, here information to Supporting Wisconsin Act 31 in your Classroom or Library, which is “meant to support educators and librarians in identifying and collecting materials to support Wisconsin Act 31.”