Friday, June 12, 2009

Teaching Respect for Native Peoples

For several years now I've been teaching a class that integrates the teaching of science and social studies for pre-service elementary teachers. In it we tackle a variety of topics, one of which is how we treat the subject of Native Americans in the classroom. Reading children's books inevitably comes up as part of this. For all my experience teaching kids and this class, I simply come up short in this area. While there are many books, web sites and blogs to guide me, I am convinced that nothing short of first-hand experience will deepen my understanding.

That's why I'm so thrilled to report that Oyate will be coming to the University of Richmond to offer a workshop on Teaching Respect for Native Peoples. Even though I am coordinating the administrative aspects of the workshop, I will be enrolled as a student (since I have much to learn). If you are in the Richmond area and have an interest in attending, please contact me for more information. Here are just a few of the particulars.
The workshop will be held August 3-6, from 7:00 am – 6:00 pm, in the Richmond Room of the Heilman Dining Center. Breakfast and lunch will be provided Monday through Thursday. On Friday, August 7th, participants will meet in Richmond to view the “Beyond Jamestown” and “Family Portraits” exhibits which are sponsored by the Indian Heritage Program of the Virginia Foundations for the Humanities. They will also meet Virginia Indian educators and hear first-hand the experiences of contemporary Native people.

The cost for the week-long workshop is $650. All workshop materials, three books and two posters, and breakfast and lunch each day are included in the price. Participants who wish to enroll for graduate credit may do so at no additional cost.
You'll be hearing more about this as the time draws near. I also hope to blog each evening as I reflect on my experiences.


  1. This is really, really neat. Wow. I'm all about a course in teaching respect for anyone, but I think within the American culture there was for so long a built-in disrespect that even well-meaning people often make huge faux pas accidentally. Cool.

  2. I'll look forward to your posts. I'd gain a lot from a workshop like this myself.