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Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian Launches Major National Education Initiative

Museum Looks To Change the Narrative About American Indians in Classrooms


The National Museum of the American Indian has launched a national education initiative, Native Knowledge 360 Degrees, which provides online materials, professional development and training, as well as advocacy and national partnerships to improve teaching and learning about American Indians.

“We’re looking to change the narrative about American Indians and emphasize that American history cannot be understood without understanding American Indian events,” said Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum of the American Indian. “By offering better materials to our educators about American Indians, we are looking to create a more empathetic and better educated citizenry.”

Native Knowledge 360 has four components:

  • Essential Understandings about American Indians
  • New Online Materials for Educators and Students
  • Professional Development for Teachers
  • National Advocacy and Partnerships

The program provides educators with essential understandings about American Indians that serve as a framework for teaching about Native American history, cultures and contemporary lives. It offers teacher training and online classroom lessons based on accurate and comprehensive Native American history and is designed to meet national and state curricula standards. Native Knowledge 360 challenges common assumptions about Native peoples—their cultures, their roles in U.S. and world history, and their contributions to the arts, sciences and literature. It advocates at the national level for teaching an American history that integrates important Native American events in the nation’s narrative and recognizes the richness and vibrancy of Native peoples and cultures today.

The National Museum of the American Indian acknowledges the support of the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation in the development of these educational resources.

About the Museum

The National Museum of the American Indian is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present and future—through partnership with Native people and others. National Mall at Fourth Street and Independence Avenue S.W.; Open every day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25)

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