The Bioneers Indigeneity Program is the go-to source for accurate and contemporary information about Indigenous science, media, and curriculum for social change.
To support the use of Bioneers’ original content in the classroom, we’ve developed thematic discussion guides and curriculum bundles aligned with national standards for grades 9-12+. Each bundle includes teacher instructions, activities, assessment, and additional materials for a week of instruction around a set of themes. All lesson plan objectives and activities are aligned to high school standards for science, social studies/history, and English.
Thanks to generous philanthropic support for this project, we are thrilled to be able to offer these essential curriculum resources for free to educators. We would very much like to know who is utilizing these resources and how they’re working for you. Please consider sharing your email address with us to be kept informed when we publish additional units and to enable us to reach out periodically for feedback and evaluation.
Thanksgiving Curriculum and Activities Grades K-1
This set of modular lessons introduces early-grade students to Thanksgiving learning activities, arts and crafts designed to teach young children about the importance of sharing, valuing nature, animal behavior, the three sisters, and more. Activities were developed to Kindergarten and First Grade standards for Massachusetts, but can easily be adapted for other grades and at-home activities.
- Picture Book Reading and Discussion (Kindergarten standards)
- Picture Book Reading and Discussion (First Grade standards)
- Three Sisters Craft Activity (Kindergarten and First Grade standards)
- Day of Harvest Lesson (Kindergarten standards)
- Animals of Keepunumuk Play (First Grade standards)
- Corn Husk Doll Activity
- Nasamp: A Wampanoag Recipe
- Geography of Thanksgiving (First Grade Standards)
The Real Thanksgiving Grades 9-12
This lesson deconstructs the story of Thanksgiving and reframes it from a Native American perspective. Students will learn the significance of annual times of harvest in the Wampanoag and Pilgrim cultures by comparing and contrasting the ways in which these holidays were observed.
The Three Sisters
This lesson teaches students about Indigenous permaculture, an approach to agricultural design that includes whole systems thinking and considers the co-habitation of plant, animal and human beings. It also teaches students how to apply traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) when growing and living amongst corn, beans and squash, also known as “the three sisters.”
2019 commemorated the 50-year anniversary of the 19-month Native American student occupation of Alcatraz. This video presents Indigenous activists from three generations who were on the frontlines at Alcatraz, Standing Rock, and other Indigenous Rights struggles, as they discuss their visions for the next 50 years of Indigenous activism.
- Discussion Guide
- Lesson Plan
- Powerpoint Deck
- “A History of Federal Indian Policy” from American Indian Politics and the American Political System, David E. Wilkins and Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark, 2011
Water is Life
The Lakota phrase “Mní wičhóni,” or “Water is life,” was the protest anthem from Standing Rock heard around the world, but it also has a spiritual meaning rooted in indigenous worldviews and our connection to nature. For Native Americans, water does not only sustain life – it is sacred. As grassroots collectives fight all over the world to protect our rivers and watersheds, we must always remember to honor the spiritual foundations underlying these battles. Water is life.
Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy shares her story about how the Hoopa Valley Tribe revilitalized women’s coming-of-age ceremonies. Through the flower ceremony in particular, young women are honored at a time when the broader American society sends them messages that they are “lesser than” males. Dr. Risling Baldy explains how this tradition prevents teen suicide, educates young women about domestic abuse, and addresses patriarchy.
Tohono O’Odham leader, Ofelia Rivas talks about how the border wall affects the ecosystem and cultural landscape that spans the US Mexico Border.
Just Transition as an Emerging Movement
A Just Transition affirms, restores and revitalize Indigenous lifeways of responsibility and respect to the sacred Creation Principles and Natural Laws of Mother Earth and Father Sky, to live in peace with each other and to ensure harmony with nature, the Circle of Life, and within all Creation.
Learn how Indigenous Peoples are leading the way in a just transition from Indigenous women leaders who are leading their communities away from fossil fuel dependence.
Indigenous Rising – Solutions to the Climate Crisis
Indigenous Rising is a growing movement to defend Indigenous rights, protect the planet, and look to Indigenous values to promote a more just and sustainable future. In this video, frontline activists from Standing Rock and the Alberta Tar Sands speak about Indigenous efforts to protect water, air, and other natural resources for all. They highlight the need for mainstream understanding of the benefits of protecting human rights as they apply to resource extraction and Mother Earth.
Jessica Metcalfe presents an overview of cultural appropriation, why it is harmful, and how to responsibly support Native American traditions by wearing authentic Native American fashion. With Tailinh Agoyo of the Warrior Project.
Summer and fall of 2016 witnessed the largest and most diverse gathering of Native Americans to ever assemble around a single issue: putting a stop to the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, or #noDAPL. This primer provides background information to better understand the issues surrounding the Standing Rock #noDAPL occupation, a month-by-month account of the on the ground and legal battles, and an overview of the pipeline’s violations against environmental health, safety and human rights.