Selected comments from the 2017 "Teaching Native American Histories" institute participants (anonymously submitted to NEH):
"Wow again. I keep thinking that each presenter has impacted me most and then you bring another amazing individual to us! Thank you."
"There are no words to express my gratitude for this Institute. It has changed my life. On behalf of my 30 students, all of my future students, and the teachers and educators I will impact in my life – thank you."
"The organization of the Institute was remarkable. The speakers provided clear and informative information in such a way that it can be incorporated easily into many of the classes and lessons that are already in place at my school. Not only will Wampanoag history be added, many of the ways they faced issues will be discussed and connected to similar items in my local area. "
"This was the most amazing learning experience I've had. It has enriched my perspective on teaching various and specific histories of Indigenous peoples. The caliber of experts called upon for sharing their knowledge was of highest quality and the onsite grounding of the lessons made high impact on participants. It has shaped the ways I will approach teaching. "
"I have made lifelong friendships with teachers from all over the US through this institute. We are staying in touch and sharing resources with each other. This connection is probably the most lasting aspect of our entire experience because we will continue to learn from each other and be able to use each other as resources. We became close during our time together. "
"My experience at the institute will forever change the way I teach about indigenous peoples in America. The message "we are still here" "we still live here" resonated throughout the institute and it got me thinking about the treatment of indigenous peoples in my home state, and how the curriculum doesn't mention them AT ALL except at first contact with Europeans. My college did not offer courses on Native American history, and therefore I have been relying on my own research on indigenous groups to teach high schoolers. This seminar not only provided me with a deep dive on the Wampanoag people (from the Wampanoag perspective) but provided me with ideas about how to incorporate primary sources and contrasting narratives into my teaching. Starting this year, I will do a better job teaching not only Native American histories, but history in general. I go back to my classroom energized and excited to introduce many of the things I learned from the Teaching Native American Histories institute! "
"The co-directors were outstanding and a wealth of information. Every single guest speaker that was selected presented us participants with insightful information and ideas. The field trips and activities were extremely meaningful as well, especially our visit to the Mashpee Tribal Offices where we got to meet staff, council members, and a judge. I left feeling more knowledgeable about the topics, but also filled with many more questions that will motivate me to continue to deepen my learning on Native Histories. One extremely important part of the program that made the experience even more valuable to me was the intentionality with which the participants were chosen. Almost half of the participants were from various Indigenous Nations around the country, which led to rich dialogue and learning for all participants. The knowledge and experiences of our participant group (in addition to the extremely knowledgeable co-directors) made this experience very insightful. I left feeling part of a community and network of committed educators that I might turn to for future ideas & support!"
"The experience itself was life and career changing. As an indigenous person, a lot of the issues that were discussed were not necessarily new but I was looking at them through a different lens. This institute gave me many other perspectives on how history can be viewed and interpreted. I now feel I know what is important to teach and how to teach so that one day these issues can be resolved."