Native American Curriculum Initiative

Amplifying Native Voices in the classroom, building bridges between Native and educational communities

Join Us in Celebrating Orange Shirt Day!

On September 29, the state of Utah will be celebrating Orange Shirt Day. This day acknowledges that boarding schools are a part of our history. Wearing an orange shirt symbolizes the movement to honor the experience of those who went to Native American boarding schools, to honor them, and to show a collective commitment to recognize that every child matters.

Our goal is to create awareness of the individual, family and community intergenerational impacts of Native American Residential Schools through Orange Shirt Day activities, and to promote the concept “Every Child Matters.”



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Amplifying Native Voices


The Native American Curriculum Initiative is an initiative of the BYU ARTS Partnership. The BYU ARTS Partnership's mission is to ensure that all children benefit from an education that provides for academic excellence, social confidence, and personal expression through experience with the arts.


In order to do this, we believe we need to expand notions of belonging in the classroom with more space for the voices on the margins. Teachers, school administrators, students, and their communities can grow together and contribute to a more equitable learning environment by exploring cultures, their own and others, through the arts.


Vision & Mission

Vision: Amplify Native voices in the classroom

Mission: Use principles of partnership to build bridges between Tribal Nations and educational communities within Utah. Create arts-integrated resources, model respectful collaboration, and provide experiences that inspire confidence in addressing cultural content in the classroom.


Guiding Principles

  • Know your own culture.
  • Assume goodwill and learn from mistakes.
  • Ask with genuine intent and listen attentively.
  • Accept "no" gracefully.
  • Use accurate and original sources from the past and present
  • Embrace partnership and reciprocity.
  • Allow the time needed for authentic growth.
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Tribal Partners in Utah

Crucial to this endeavor is establishing a collaborative partnership with tribal nations of Utah in the creation of lessons that align with tribal customs and traditions. The BYU Arts Partnership believes "the greatest impact for change will be accomplished through collaborative efforts involving teachers, schools, districts, departments, and universities," and in this case, tribal nations. Providing arts-integrated lesson plans, an artist roster, and other resources in partnership with and approved by tribes will add validity and another layer of confidence and support for teachers and children.

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Native Resources for the Classroom

Projects and Partnerships

Find more on our YouTube channel by clicking here.


Bear River Massacre Commemoration Ceremony


Bear River Massacre Commemoration Ceremony

Rupert Steele performs the Flag Song


Recording Knowledge Keepers and Culture Bearers

Man dancing in Native American clothing


Arts Express 2022

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"Ask Brenda" Video Series

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Recordings of Paiute Lesson Plans in Cedar City

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Remembering the 8 Sovereign Groups and 5 Tribes of Utah

Online NACI PD Course

Want to learn more? 

Consider registering for our new 1-credit online course "Amplifying Native Voices in the Classroom" to learn HOW to implement our tribe-approved arts-integrated lesson plans and select culturally appropriate resources for your classroom.

Click here to register and learn more about our online PD course.



NACI in the News



Bear River Massacre Memorial

The Salt Lake Tribune: Reclaiming the Bear River narrative by Brenda Beyal and Heather Sundahl


Two native women standing in a field

Deseret News: Meet 3 little-known Utah women who've changed our state for good by Brenda Beyal and Heather Sundahl


Navajo Code Talkers

Desert News: Navajo code talkers should be remembered for more than just WWII by Brenda Beyal and Heather Sundahl


Connect with us!



The best way to get the latest news on new lesson plans and upcoming workshops is to subscribe to our NACI mailing list. Join here!

Social Media

Instagram @everychildeveryart

Facebook @byuartspartnership

Pinterest @byuartspartnership

Youtube @byuartspartnership

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"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children"

-Sitting Bull