Tuesday, August 18, 2020

New Feature of the Blog!

Once IPH4YP was out in the world, we heard from reviewers and other readers about topics they would have liked to see covered in the adaptation. Their suggestions included attention to Two Spirit people in Indigenous history and to relations between Native peoples and Black people in what's currently called North America, from colonization to the present.

We hope to one day be able to have a second edition of IPH4YP, but that's uncertain. We've decided that for now, we'll do a series of posts on this Web site to share what we learn about several of the topics suggested by readers -- things we'd like to include if a second edition happens.

These posts will include information we gain from our readings on the topics, with lists of resources educators and other readers can use to follow up on their own. We'll direct them to some of our favorite research rabbit-holes.

We're starting with questions and thoughts that come up as we do a close reading of Tiya Miles' Ties That Bind: The Story of An Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and in Freedom (Second edition). There's so much good to say about Ties That Bind. It's giving us lots to think, talk, and write about, and we think you might have the same reaction, so do see about getting a copy if you haven't read it.

We invite you to take a look at our first entry in this project. "Slavery and Early Treaties" takes off from Dr. Miles' text; we're looking right now at how a couple of early treaties between the US and Native Nations talked about and positioned Black people.

We hope you'll read and comment. What you have to say is likely to help us think more clearly about the topics at hand, and how we might eventually incorporate them into a second edition.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Decolonizing the Mayflower Landing 400 Years Later

We've mentioned before that Dr. Natalie Martinez (Laguna) has developed the curriculum guide for IPH4YP, and we think it's going to be a great help to educators who want to teach with this book.

She has also created lesson plans to help teachers indigenize their classroom discussions of Indigenous Peoples' Day (replacing Columbus Day) and Thanksgiving. With the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing approaching, teachers can now turn to Dr. Martinez's lesson plan focusing on Indigenous perspectives on the "Pilgrims" and their legacy -- and the legacy of Indigenous resistance. Check out "Indigenous Perseverance: Wampanoag Survival 400 Years After the Mayflower", which expands on concepts and events addressed in chapters 2, 3, 7, and the conclusion of IPH4YP!

Have we said previously how pleased we are to know that these lesson plans are available, and are FREE to educators? Yes, we have. But it bears repeating.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Photos from August at Urbana Free Library

The second IPH4YP event Debbie & Jean did together was close to home -- at the Urbana (IL) Free Library on August 27.

Debbie, our dear local librarian Carol Inskeep, & Jean before the talk.

Rather than giving full accounts of what goes on at these events, we'd like to focus on "moments" that had special meaning for us. For example: When we walked into the library auditorium, we were greeted by the sight of 2 display tables of books that we recommend, for adults and for younger people. That felt great, knowing that the staff had made a point of pulling those books so people at the talk could actually put their hands on them. And that means that the library has all those titles available for the public to check out, in the first place! It's so important to Native parents and kids, to be able to see books that reflect their lives, on the shelves in their community libraries.

Debbie in conversation with students from the University of
Illinois Graduate School of Library & Information Sciences (GLIS).

Debbie gets the talk started. More than 100 people attended.  

We invited the audience members to list all the Native nations they could think of in 3 minutes. We didn't have time to check the lists for accuracy, but anyone who wanted to could compare their list to the federal government's list of Indian Entities Recognized by and Eligible To Receive Services From the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. (For a little more about that, see p. 45 in IPH4YP.) In the photo below right, people are working together to make their lists.

Jean was especially happy that her parents, Barbara and Ed Paine, were able to attend. That's her mom far left in this photo, and her dad, second from left. Her brother Bill is the guy talking to her at the signing table.

The Illini Union Bookstore from the University of Illinois campus sold copies of the book. It was a pleasant evening, and satisfying to see so many familiar faces as we talked about IPH4YP.  Thanks so much, Carol Inskeep and UFL staff, for all your work!

Thanksgiving Lesson Plan!

More good news for educators! Another lesson plan based on An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People (#iph4yp) is now available from Beacon Press:

Origin Narrative: Thanksgiving is a grade 6-8 social studies lesson, created by Dr. Natalie Martinez (Laguna Pueblo), who has also created the Indigenous People's Day lesson plan and a detailed Teachers Guide (more on that to follow). This lesson supports Chapter 3 ("Cult of the Covenant"), and focuses on origin narratives -- what they are, who tells them, what they are meant to accomplish, why they can be problematic. Students are asked to think critically about the Thanksgiving stories that are familiar to them, and to look at stories that may not be so familiar. As with the Indigenous Peoples' Day lesson, links are provided to good outside resources for teachers or students to use.

The central question is challenging enough for high school students and adults: How does the transmission of history become ingrained in collective memory?

Thanks, Dr. Natalie Martinez, for another helpful resource to go along with IPH4YP!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

"History of Indigenous People's Day" Lesson Plan!

News for educators! Beacon Press has announced publication of the first lesson plan based on An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People (#iph4yp):

History of Indigenous Peoples' Day is a social studies lesson for students in grades 6-8, created by Dr. Natalie Martinez (Laguna Pueblo). It supports Ch. 10 of IPH4YP ("Indigenous Action, Indigenous Rights") and could easily be adapted "up" for high school. There are links to a lot of good outside resources, too, that teachers can use for the lesson.

Really appreciative of the lesson plan's orientation to the present, as articulated in the learning targets:

  • Students will analyze how recurring patterns of colonialism can inform current events and political movements.
  • Students will apply knowledge of political and social systems to participate actively as informed citizens in a democracy. 

Even if you're not a teacher, and you want to know more about the grassroots activism that has led communities to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day -- this lesson plan can help you find out.

We're very happy to have this new resource!

Sunday, August 25, 2019


An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, for Young People was officially launched at 57th Street Books in Chicago on Saturday, August 24th. Were you there? Do you have photos to add to this photo record of the launch? If/when we find better photos of what we post here, we'll swap them out, and we'll add others, too!

Debbie and her mom, ready to go to the launch!

The staff at 57th Street Books is terrific! Several people greeted us and worked on creating the space. That meant moving books from the shelves in back...

to the signing table... and moving shelves to set up chairs and the screen for our power point presentation.

The book shelves are on wheels so they can be moved to other locations for events.

Jean's husband, Durango, is a photographer. Here he is, taking some test shots before everyone arrived. Photos of the photographers are rare. This one was taken by Debbie's husband, George.

We were delighted that #DiversityJedi were in the house! Here's Elisa and Patrick (and Debbie):

The original plan for the launch was that Bernardine Dohrn would moderate the conversation between Roxanne, Jean, and Debbie. Unfortunately, Roxanne couldn't be there due to illness. Here's Abigail (of 57th Street Books), Jean, Debbie, and Bernardine, just before our presentation got started.


We are pausing here to insert links to Twitter threads from people who were there. If you click on their names you'll go to their threads and see what they said on Twitter. There's also several photos in their threads.  I'll add more as I find them.


At 3:00, Abigail introduced us to a packed room. There may have been 40 or so people there and lot of people bought books! In fact, they sold out. A teacher, Autumn Laidler got the last copy. Ben Kovacs snapped a photo of Autumn. Here's a screen capture of his tweet of her with the last copy:

Elisa Gall gave us a delightful gift! Cookies, iced with an image of the book cover! 

Here's another photo of the photographer taking a photo of us at our signing table. In this one you can see the stack of Diversity in Children's Books 2018 infographic postcards that we were giving away.

We use the infographic in the opening sequence of our presentation. Here it is, for those who haven't seen it yet. For details about it, go to Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen's website:

I asked the illustrator, David Huyck, to create another illustration of the Native child on the left, that we could use to signify a Native child's joy at seeing books that affirm their existence. He did (thanks, David!) and we used it as the final slide in our presentation. It was wonderful to hear the audience exclaim and see them raising their cameras to take a photo of it.

That's all, for now! We may be back to add links to Facebook posts or Twitter threads, or to add more photos!

New Feature of the Blog!

Once IPH4YP was out in the world, we heard from reviewers and other readers about topics they would have liked to see covered in the adaptat...