Module Introduction

The content for this lesson plan is divided into two modules. Each module provides information for instruction. Each of these sections then has a corresponding section for activities related to the instruction that students may practice. Students should read the information section and then move on to complete the activities, applying what they learned along the way. The activities in Module A and Module B are complimentary to each other, but focus on building different fundamental skills. This introduction page will provide some guidance on the different goals of the modules.

Module A – Historical Thinking

Module A activities correspond to the information provided in the Think like a Historian section. With these activities, students put into practice the process of historical thinking. Because the primary sources they are working with relate to the overall theme of introducing Indigenous methodologies, the module activities also introduce hypothetical ethical requirements of conducting research and how this particularly applies to Indigenous communities and sources.

Module A consists of three activities:

  1. The Research Consent Form activity. First, begin by reading the linked information about ethical engagements with Tribes. Then complete the embedded Google form that mimics a potential scenario where a researcher might be asked to submit a request to conduct research with an Indigenous community. Answers should be reflective of the information provided in the readings.
  2. The Worksheet Part A activity. This worksheet relates to the Research Consent Form activity.
  3. The Worksheet Part B activity. This worksheet corresponds to the information from the Think like a Historian section by asking you to analyze the Indigenous primary sources and then to reflect on the process of completing the Module A activities.

Module B – Indigenous Methodologies

In Module B, the activities correspond to the content covered in the Overview of Indigenous Methodologies section. These activities encourage the adoption of an Indigenous methodological perspective using reflective questions. The goal is to reanalyze the Indigenous primary sources after having considered these questions. This practice builds upon the existing historical thinking skills developed in Module A, but provides another lens with which to view the sources to see how it affects the interpretation of the material. Afterward, there is a final reflection to complete that compares the original analysis to the second analysis.

Why Choose Indigenous Creation Stories for Primary Source analysis?

“We are faced today with a concept of world history that lacks even the most basic appreciation of the experiences of mankind as a whole”

Vine Deloria, Jr., God is Red: A Native View of Religion, 3rd ed. (Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing, 2003), 107.

As talked about in the Overview of Indigenous Methodologies section, there is good reason to provide instruction for students about how to understand and utilize Indigenous frameworks for research: first and foremost being that they encourage researchers to be more self-reflective about their role in the research and how they can be more accountable to those participating in the research, creating space for healthy relationships that can produce ethically obtained knowledge.

But what is the purpose of choosing creation stories to be used in the activities for students to develop their historical thinking skills? Students will study creation stories for this module because they provide an opportunity for an important exercise that helps develop historical thinking: explanation of worldviews. Creation stories are a mode of epistemological (knowledge) expression, but the content is an articulation of cosmological (creation) thought for a culture. Creation stories allow us to explore such questions as:

  • What does their cosmology [or in our case, methodology] tell us about a people’s value system?
  • What is their belief of the place of humans in the world?
  • What is their relationship to the universe, to other creatures, as well as to a god or gods, and their own views of history?

William Wheeler & Lorri Glover, Discovering the American Past: A Look at the Evidence, Volume 1: To 1877, 8th ed. (Boston: Cengage Learning, 2017), 2.

With this in mind, those studying the historicity of these stories will develop their cultural communication skills and increase their ability to understand the past in in context, two valuable skills for creating accurate novel interpretations of the past that are mindful of the social dynamics of history.