In this curriculum unit, I intend to augment the AP United States History course with key concepts in Native American studies in order to illuminate colorblindness and legitimized racism in classrooms across the nation.
When I was child growing up in the Seventies, my father and teachers always told me that to the winners go the spoils of war and history is written by those who are victorious in battle. Repeated over and over, the narrative became dogma and seemed to be the natural law of the universe. I did not have the education to counter the aforementioned canon of American life.
At a young age. I desired to learn more about Native Americans. I wanted to explore the cultures and experiences of Indigenous people, and the roles they played in our country. Regrettably, there was very little taught in my high school classes in Southbury, CT. I had to rely on movies and TV shows to provide acumen into the cultures of Native Americans in North America. Unfortunately, the limited images and perspectives often perpetuated racial stereotypes that clouded my knowledge with the colonial settler narrative of American history and promoted legitimized racism.i As I read more books and attended classes in college, I was exposed to multiple perspectives, gained intellectual knowledge and questioned the chronicles of U.S. history.
I provide educators and students with multiple perspectives in order to raise student understanding of Native American history and settler colonialism—the removal and erasure of Indigenous people and functions as an invasive intruder who advances a distinctive identity and sovereignty—as well as debunk the accepted creeds of the past and stereotypes in America today.
Indigenous groups have survived and thrived hundreds of years of settler colonialism. They have not vanished, nor were it inevitable, that they disappeared. I will focus on disputing the colonial settler narratives inscribed in history books and promoted by colorblind educators. My research will rely on three important sources: An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance by Leanne Betasamosak Simpson and The Real All-Americans by Sally Jenkins.