This website is a lesson plan for teaching students about Indigenous methodologies. The lesson plan contains two modules of activities. The material is aimed at upper division undergraduate students trained in Western methodologies, though it can also be used for students involved with Indigenous communities who are looking to explore academic implementations of culturally relevant frameworks. The goal of this project is to provide the public, and specifically students, an introduction to historical thinking and the way that historians “do” history. In particular, it is providing an Indigenous approach to history by using primary sources from Indigenous Peoples and providing instruction on how Indigenous scholars would approach the material to inform the creation of historical narratives.

Website Sections

The website is a lesson plan with activities modules that can be includes as a section of a larger curriculum. It is divided into several pages:

  • Introduction: This page explains the goals of this project website, outlines the focus of the activities, and provides the learning outcomes to be achieved with the content.
  • Module Introduction: This page provides an introduction to the structure and nature of the module activities.
    • Thinking like a Historian. This page lays out the basic process and elements of historical thinking that students will develop to do the activities. This page directly corresponds to Module A.
      • Module A: This page provides the primary source materials and associated activities for students to practice historical thinking in an ethical manner.
    • Overview of Indigenous Methodologies: This page defines the concept of methodology and provides an overview of Indigenous methodologies. This page directly corresponds to Module B.
      • Module B: This page provides the instruction and activities for students to begin implementing an Indigenous methodological approach to their historical analysis of primary sources.
    • A Response to Contradictions Among Indigenous Sources: This page articulates an Indigenous approach to resolving contradictions among oral sources. It is meant for those who complete the activities.
  • Definitions and Core Concepts: This page provides defines and outlines the core concepts not directly discussed in the rest of the content pages related to the activities.
  • Teaching Resources: This page contains additional resources for teachers wanting to expand further into Indigenous methodologies and research paradigms.
  • About the Project: This page contains more direct information about the creation of this project and its creator.

Focus of Activities

The module activities will provide instruction for students on how to think historically–the phrase used to refer to the academic skills of historians–and how to apply this to doing historical work. Since this module is specifically about utilizing an Indigenous methodological approach, students will study two primary Indigenous sources of knowledge in the form of creation stories. These two creation stories are similar in nature, but contain contradictions. The activities are meant to help the students analyze these sources from an Indigenous perspective. Rather than treating these stories like literary works, they should be treated as historical sources that tell us something about the past, the landscape, and the people these stories come from.

Another important aspect that is a secondary goal for these activities is to inform students about how to conduct ethical research when working with Indigenous sources and Indigenous communities. The ethical aspect of the activities will be built into the work and will be expounded upon in the teaching guide, but will also be its own activity to accomplish. Students will be asked to complete a research consent form before they can proceed with studying the primary sources. Once they have received permission from their instructor, they may continue with the module.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Be able to demonstrate the elements of historical thinking;
  2. Be able to explain the necessary ethical nature of working with Indigenous communities;
  3. Be able to recognize Indigenous oral traditions as primary sources that can be used for historical research;
  4. Be able to articulate a basic understanding of Indigenous methodology; and
  5. Produce activity materials that demonstrate a grasp of the concepts and content of the modules.