Native American Lesson Plans


Lesson Plans that Bridge Native and Educational Communities

What makes our lesson plans unique?

Our lesson plans amplify Native voices. Our lesson plans are unique because we pay special attention to background information. We ask all authentic voices, including official voices within sovereign nations and knowledge keepers in specific areas, "What would you like the students of Utah to know about you?" Native voices are integral in crafting each lesson to provide expertise, accuracy, and authenticity: their answers are basis for our arts-rich lesson plans and resources that allow each Native American nation to guide the development of the content and retain decision-making authority on what will or will not be taught about their lifeways. This collaborative approach not only empowers the tribes to share their knowledge and experiences but also strengthens the educational materials' credibility and relevance. Our lesson plans are a direct window into what tribal nations would like people to know. Additionally, our lesson plans incorporate multiple core subjects with the arts. We encourage educators to use our library of lesson plans throughout the year in connection with various subjects.

What does a tribal seal of approval mean?

Because of our close and unique collaboration with Native partners, many of our Native American lesson plans have been given a tribal seal of approval from its incipient nation. Lesson topics are determined by tribal leaders for content that relates specifically to their sovereign nation. Throughout lesson development, each lesson is evaluated word-by-word with Native educational and cultural specialists. Lessons are presented to the tribal government for final approval which allows BYU to place the sovereign nation's seal on the materials. This seal acts as a visual symbol of the Nation's approval. The presence of the seal is an indication to all users that our lesson plans are offered as gifts. Each person who uses them assumes responsibility to develop an understanding of the Nation's cultural background and teach the approved content appropriately, as written in the lesson plan.

What is the difference between Native American and tribe-approved lesson plans?

All of our Native American lesson plans are developed in direct collaboration with Native American individuals. Some lesson plans are tribe-approved, which means they have been approved by the specific sovereign nation's government. Tribe-approved lesson plans bear the nation's seal as a visual symbol of their participation, collaboration, and final approval.

All additional Native American lessons are developed with Native knowledge keepers. Because the content of these lesson plans span multiple sovereign nations, it is difficult to get an official seal from just one nation. Regardless, authentic Native voices and experiences are present in every single published lesson plan. We continue to collaborate and publish new lesson plans as our partnerships allow.  Our NACI team is committed to continued collaboration and partnership with Native voices.


Are there lesson plans representing Native communities close to me?

We currently offer lesson plans from six or seven of the eight sovereign nations that reside within the region of Utah. Check out our Native American land maps to see which tribal group or sovereign nation lives near you. Then, search the lesson plans according to which Native community is closest to you.

Can I use only parts of the lesson plans?

Yes, but we strongly suggest using the background info and context. The background information is essential to authentically and accurately teach the different activities. For example, Damen Doiya is a song that should only be sung with presenting students with the background information on the song.

Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation Lesson Plans

Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah Lesson Plans

San Juan Southern Paiute Lesson Plans

Lessons in Progress

Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation Lesson Plans

Skull Valley Band of the Goshute Lesson Plans

Lessons in Progress

Navajo Nation Lesson Plans

White Mesa Community of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Lesson Plans

Lessons in Progress

Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation Lesson Plans

Lessons in Progress

Intertribal Lessons

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