Amplify Native Voices in the Classroom

Online PD Course for Teachers and Administrators



Teachers have questions and concerns about what to teach and how to teach about Native Americans in the classroom. This online course offers resources and experiences to help inspire, transform, and infuse teachers with personal and professional confidence in addressing cultural arts in their classroom.


Amplify Native Voices in the Classroom is a 1-credit online Canvas course that includes 15 hours of instruction. The course is open to all educators from Pre-K to High School, administrators, Native partners, and community members. Each year the course will be moderated by one facilitator from the BYU ARTS Partnership Leadership Team. It is recommended the course be completed within four months, but participants are given one year to complete the course for credit.


Learning activities include:


  • Studying personal culture and identity through a NearPod lesson designed by Alan Groves, focused on his journey as a Native artist and educator
  • Gaining an understanding of the legal history of US Tribal relations from a Native perspective
  • Exploring the history of each of the eight sovereign nations in Utah through interactive timelines*
  • Learning to select culturally responsible content and resources for the classroom through a decision-based learning model filled with examples and non-examples
  • Learning culturally responsive principles to guide instructional choices through discussion boards, videos and podcasts
  • Connecting and collaborating with other educators through discussion, lesson plan sharing, and sharing stories of culturally responsive teaching


*Timeline availability for each tribe is dependent on tribal council approval.




By the end of the course learners will:

  1. Empathize with Native Americans in Utah
  2. Know historical terminology and facts about Native Americans in Utah
  3. Understand principles of cultural responsiveness  
  4. Evaluate Native-themed instructional resources for accuracy and authenticity
  5. Apply principles of culturally responsive teaching to professional practice


How do I register?

Click on this link to submit your interest in receiving access to the course. Let us know if you're seeking credit or re-licensure points for completing the course and we'll connect you to registration on MIDAS as well.


How much does it cost?

The course is free for teachers, administrators, and community members thanks to sponsorship from the Beverley Taylor Sorenson BYU ARTS Partnership. However, if you are taking the course for BYU credit you will need to pay the credit application fee (see below).


Can I earn USBE credit?

Yes! You can earn 1 USBE credit or 15 relicensure hours through USBE by registering for the course on MIDAS. Login to MIDAS and register for the course by clicking here


Do I have to live in Utah to take the course?

No, you can take the course no matter where you live. If you don't have an account on MIDAS and are not seeking credit please fill out the form by clicking here and a member of our team will add you to the Canvas course.


Do I have to be an educator to take the course?

You do not have to be an educator to take the course. 


Can I use my district Canvas account?

We are using the Free for Teacher Canvas platform. If you have a district Canvas account you will need to create a new account with the free version to access our course.



Registration Button



Heather Francis Headshot


Heather Francis 
Research and Development Coordinator
BYU ARTS Partnership


Heather Francis (MA, BA) is a dance teaching artist and instructional designer from Salt Lake City, Utah. She has taught math and dance in K-12 public school settings, prepared dance educators for the classroom, and currently designs learning experiences and products for the BYU ARTS Partnership. She enjoys dancing and drumming with her husband and son. She serves as Chair-Elect on the daCi USA Board, and is working on a graduate degree in Instructional Psychology and Technology.

Stephanie West Headshot


Stephanie West 
Instructional Designer
BYU ARTS Partnership


Stephanie West (MS, BS, AAS) is a mother to five amazing children and an instructional designer from Provo, Utah. She has a background in healthcare and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Instructional Psychology and Technology with a focus on experiential learning, particularly the intersection between culture and education.  She has lived in six different countries and speaks four languages to varying degrees. She is passionate about empathy and connection and believes that developing empathy and facilitating all forms of connection are key to tackling the most challenging problems in the world.

What people are saying

"The authentic experience of a Native American art teacher was powerful."

- Tracy Poulsen

“I appreciate the comments about assuming positive intentions and being able to fail/improve.. along with Chris Robert's example of mistakes he made when teaching the Bear Dance.  As someone interested in teaching Native American curriculum, it is freeing to hear that it's okay to try and that this course will give me the skills - rather than not trying at all.” 

- Melissa Deletant, Uintah School District 

"I liked the timeline that was available on the Paiutes. There was a lot of interesting information I didn't know, such as the names of the various bands of the Paiute nation. I also liked the interactive maps showing where the various tribes lived in the past and where they are located now."

- Helen Freeman, Hopi, School Board Member, Arizona

"I really enjoyed this presentation on Native American history and feel it is the most thorough teaching I have ever received. I grew up calling Native Americans "Indians". I was taught that the name came because they were mistaken for people from India. I watched cowboy and Indian shows that portrayed Indians as enemies. My brothers had cowboy and Indian toys. I saw many kids dress up as Indians for Halloween. I have had thoughts of, "What is the big deal for a team to use a Native American mascot?" ... I feel it is important to know history to help us to do better in our lives and improve our future relations. I appreciate all who are joining together to help us paint a more accurate picture of the past and give us tools for better ongoing instruction."

- Jessica Williams, 4th Grade Teacher