Truth and Healing Curriculum
The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition has developed a curriculum on U.S. Indian Boarding Schools for teachers and parents to use with their students and children.
The Truth and Healing Curriculum is comprised of four (4) robust lessons on Indian boarding schools covering History, Impacts, Stories, and Healing, and is appropriately sectioned into three (3) learning levels: primary, middle, and upper grades.
NABS understands that educational resources such as these are greatly needed for a variety of important reasons. As a response to requests from teachers and parents, we developed the Truth and Healing Curriculum to support distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Download a package that includes all curriculum.
More Information about our Truth and Healing Curriculum
We know this period of American history is vastly underexamined in the U.S., especially in our schools. A nationwide study examining Indigenous representation in state content standards found that only five states—Arizona, Washington, Oklahoma, Kansas, and North Dakota—even mention Indian boarding schools (Shear et al., 2015; ND.6_12.4, 2019). This, of course, is no guarantee that those states address the truth and impact of this history in a meaningful way. Though, we do know that 45 states in the U.S. are not required to engage students on the legacy of Indian boarding schools.
NABS recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed how students have engaged learning over the past year. With the way that remote instruction has changed the way that schools now operate, teachers and parents are seeking differentiated resources for students. By providing access to these lessons, we are hopeful that this contribution can help respond to the challenges that distance learning has placed on families and schools. These lessons were designed with teachers, parents, and students in mind, to be able to begin a conversation on the history and impact of U.S. Indian boarding schools. To implement even deeper inquiry, we invite you to visit our recommended reading resource that we published on Indigenous Peoples Day, 2020.
These lessons are scaffolded into three separate age groups—primary, middle, and upper grades—and are themed, Truth in History, Impacts, Personal Stories, and Healing. The lessons ought to be a foundational layer to student inquiry and are designed to be highly customizable. Each lesson contains three main instructional sequences: INTO, THROUGH, and BEYOND. Representing the element to start the conversation and begin a phase of wonder, INTO is meant to act as a hook for the lesson. Identifying the comprehension and exploration aspect of the learning goals, THROUGH should be the stage where connections are being made. Representing the sequence where learning can be extended, BEYOND is the place where essential understandings can be deepened and taken to the next level.
Additional Curriculum For Teachers, Administrators, and Districts
The National Indian Education Association (NIEA) and NABS have partnered to bring focus to the comprehensive services that Native students need to ensure a safe and secure learning environment. In collaboration with NIEA, we have created two trauma-informed curricula:
1) a professional development curriculum aimed at Teachers of Native Students in Public schools, and
2) a high school curriculum based on the GONA framework (Belonging, Mastery, Interdependence, and Generosity).
Please contact us to learn more about this additional curriculum and professional development opportunity.
North Dakota Social Studies Content Standards. (2019). Analyze the historical and current events and their
impact on the development of North Dakota, ND.6_12.4
Shear et al. (2015). "Manifesting destiny: Re/presentations of indigenous peoples in K–12 US history standards." Theory & Research in Social Education 43(1): 68-101.