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Native American Voices: The People – Here and Now


This seminar will be taught at the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and is inspired by the new exhibition Native American Voices: The People – Here and Now which will open at Penn Museum on March 1, 2014. The exhibition introduces contemporary Native American leaders and concerns in Indian country today, against the backdrop of Penn Museum’s remarkable Native American collections. The course will ask the following questions: What is the status of Native Americans in our country today? What issues are of concern in Indian country now? And, who are some of the current leaders? Topics to be explored include Native American sovereignty, language preservation, the importance of sacred places, the significance of ongoing commemorations and celebrations, and economic and health initiatives. Teachers will have the opportunity to explore a variety of tribes and topics and to become familiar with Native American material culture through hands on experience.
Teachers can create their own curriculum in relation to, or independent of, the five year exhibition. Teachers of social studies and history will find this topic especially useful.

Unit TitleAuthor


The Lenni-Lenape People: Yesterday and Today

Terry Anne Wildman
Keywords: History, Lenni-Lenape People, NAGPRA, Native American Voices Exhibit

Children of the Earth: Native American Identity, Sacred Places and Ties to the Landscape

Erin Bloom
Keywords: anthropology, landscape, Native American issues, sacred places

Investigation of Pueblo History and Pottery for the Spanish Classroom

Matthew Byrne
Keywords: Art, ceramics, Foreign Language, Native American, New Mexico, pottery, Pueblo revolt, Spanish pueblo

The Spirits Still Among Us: Native American Poets and the Voices of History in the Present Tense

Sydney Hunt Coffin
Keywords: History, Identity, Native American, poetry, voice

The Navajo Code Talkers

Richard P. Holmes
Keywords: Code Breakers, Native American, Navajo, World War II

Native American Music and Living Legends

Cynthia Cozette Lee
Keywords: biographies, contemporary, crossover, History, Native American music, percussion instruments, traditional

The Seminole and African Collaboration: An Alliance for Survival

Keysiah M. Middleton
Keywords: Abraham, African American History, Alachua chief, American History, Andrew Jackson, Asi Yahola, Battle at Hatcheelustee Creek, Battle at Jupiter Inlet, Battle of Lockahatchee, Battle of Okeechobee, Battle of Wahoo Swamp, Ben Bruner, Black Seminoles, Coacoochee, Colonial Florida, Dade’s Massacre, Destruction of St. John’s Sugar Plantations, Duncan Clinch, Edmund P. Gaines, First Battle of Withlacoochee, Francis L. Dade, freedom fighters, Geechee, Gullah, History, John Caesar, John Horse, La Florida, Luis Fatio Pacheco, Micanopy, Micconuppe, Mikasuki, Native American History, Negro Fort Massacre, Osceola, runaway slaves, Second Battle of Withlacoochee, Seige of Camp Izard, Seminole maroons, Seminoles, St. Augustine, St. John Slave Revolt, Thomas Sidney Jesup, Tuskegee, Wild Cat, Zachary Taylor

The Geography of the Lenape Diaspora

Peter Morse
Keywords: Delaware, diaspora, Lenape

The Cherokee Tribe and Their Trail of Tears

Tiffany Moyer
Keywords: Cherokee, fractions, Geography, History, literacy, mixed numbers, Native American, Trail of Tears

Fact Versus Fiction: Comparing Primary and Secondary Sources about Christopher Columbus and the Colonization of the New World With a New Perspective on Thanksgiving

Kathleen Radebaugh
Keywords: activism, Christopher Columbus, Native Americans, primary sources, secondary sources, social media, Thanksgiving, writing

The Progression from Ancestral Pueblo to Pueblo of Today

Cara Wallin
Keywords: Ancestral Pueblo, cliff dwellings, Culture, four corners, History, Pueblo Indians

Whispering Rivers: Whatever Happened to the Indians of Pennsylvania?

Pat Mitchell-Keita-Doe
Keywords: American History, Historical Context, History, Native American, Native American History, Native American issues, Native Americans, Pennsylvania History, Political Activism, Political thought, political unrest