Resources for Celebrating Tribes of the Pacific Northwest in the Classroom

(Updated March 12, 2018)

Here are some excellent resources that educators can use to inform educational lessons and writing and art activities related to Honoring Our Rivers's upcoming themed section celebrating the different tribes of the Pacific Northwest and their relationship to rivers. 


Guidance on Cultural Sensitivities & Linking to NGSS Learning Standards

The traveling museum exhibit Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Science Shared. is a cross-cultural collaboration educating students and families about the ways in which traditional knowledge of indigenous communities and cutting-edge science are being applied to improve our world. Their Staff & Educator's Guide is a helpful reference for guidance on respecting Native culturespeaking with and about Native people, and it includes correlations with Next Generation Science Standards and lesson plansFind all those resources and more here.


Native Arts & Cultures Foundation

The Native Arts & Cultures Foundation is a native-led foundation dedicated exclusively to the perpetuation of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian arts and cultures nationwide. Their blog is an excellent resource to learn about artistsenvironmental stewardshiparts and education, and more!


Wisdom of the Elders

Wisdom of the Elders, Inc., records and preserves traditional cultural values and oral histories from indigenous elders. Check out Series One: The Sacred Earth or explore the distinct perspective of different Tribes throughout their archives!



    Confluence's interactive Journey Book of installations along the Columbia River at sites of tribal significance and history blog are excellent resources for our theme! This community-supported nonprofit is a collaborative effort of Pacific Northwest Tribes, communities, Tribes, and artist Maya Lin connecting people to place through art and education. 


    A Lesson on Lamprey

    Salmon get a lot of attention as an iconic species of the Pacific Northwest, but what about the Pacific Lamprey that is so important to several tribes of the Columbia River Basin? Dive into the rich story of the lamprey, its use as food and medicine, where it's harvested today, and its struggle for survival. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lamprey campaign is a non-native resource that is raising awareness of the specie's decline. 


    Contemporary Native Artists Tumblr

    Here is a blog for learning about contemporary artists with indigenous heritage. Note the different perspectives and styles of each artist. There are also quite a few artists whose works challenge the stereotypical depictions of Native people, such as Paul Chaat Smith, Wendy Red Starr, and Gail Tremblay.

    Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts

    Their mission is to provide a creative conduit for educational, social, and economic opportunities for Native Americans through artistic development.


    Indian Education in Washington has resources, materials, lessons, and entire units to support the teaching of tribal sovereignty, tribal history, and current tribal issues for Washington and U.S. history for elementary, middle, and high school levels. Each unit is aligned with national Common Core standards. And, all 29 Washington tribes have endorsed its importance and use.


    Oregon Senate Bill 13

    Did you know that Oregon's Senate Bill 13 directs the state Department of Education to develop curriculum relating to the Native American experience in Oregon and to provide professional development related to the curriculum? School districts will be required to implement the curriculum in the coming years. Check out these state educational resources