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American Indian Heritage Education Day 2018

Friday, November 16, 2018, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

Registration is now closed, but you can tune into a livestream program to hear music and see dances performed by North Carolina American Indian groups in the museum's Daniels Auditorium.

Celebrate National American Indian Heritage Month with your students and other school groups! Students will have an interactive experience that brings American Indian history and culture to life. Visit teaching stations on storytelling, crafts, games, foodways, dancing, and music—staffed by members of the state’s eight state-recognized tribes. Listen to and participate in discussions about present-day American Indians.

General Resources 

Introduction to Culturally Responsive Teaching

North Carolina Tribes and Resources

Resources for Teaching To and About American Indians

Terminology: American Indian, Native American, or Native?

Information about American Indian Mascots

Teaching About Thanksgiving

Preschool and Elementary School Teachers

Background Articles and Information
Fast Facts about American Indians
Legend: Sequoyah, Inventor of the Cherokee Alphabet
Legends and Myths: The “Three Sisters”
State Flower: Dogwood
State Fruit: Scuppernong Grape; State Vegetable: Sweet Potato 
Teaching Young Children about Native Americans
Teaching about Thanksgiving 
Time Line: American Indians in North Carolina

Classroom Activities
Canku Ota: An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
Colonial North Carolina History-in-a-Box 
Native Tech
Traditional Cherokee Pottery

Books and Magazines

Books about North Carolina Tribes
The First Strawberries, by Joseph Bruchac
Chicora and the Little People: The Legend of Indian Corn, a Lumbee Tale, by Arvis Boughman and Delora Cummings 
You Don’t Look Indian to Me, by Charlene Hunt

Magazines about North Carolina Tribes
Tar Heel Junior Historian magazine, American Indian issue (Contact the Tar Heel Junior Historian Association program coordinator at or 919-807-7985 for more information or to obtain copies for $3 each.)

Middle and High School Teachers

Background Articles and Information
Time Line: American Indians in North Carolina
Fast Facts about American Indians
First Immigrants: Native American Settlement of North Carolina
The First People of North Carolina
The State and Its Tribes

American Indian Storytelling
Cherokee Basketry
A Conversation with Artist Joel Queen
Indian Cabinetmakers in Piedmont North Carolina
Inside the Contemporary Powwow
Native Tech

Politics and History
Assigned Places
Communities of Faith: American Indian Churches in Eastern North Carolina
“Double Voting” in Robeson County: A Reminder of an Unequal Past
Henry Berry Lowry Lives Forever
The Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina and the Battle of Maxton Field
Longtime Chief of the Waccamaw-Siouan: Priscilla Freeman Jacobs
A Look at the Trail of Tears
Nancy Ward: “War Woman” of the Cherokee
The N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs
North Carolina’s American Indians in World War II
With Deliberate Speed: North Carolina and School Desegregation

Jim Thorpe

Laying the Foundation: American Indian Education in North Carolina
Legend: Sequoyah, Inventor of the Cherokee Alphabet
A Look at the Cherokee Language
“Respect and Encourage the Individual”: Learning among the Lumbee

Classroom Activities
Mapping Early NC Tribes
NC Tribes Prior to European Contact
How About Some Recognition?
Pottery Making: The Coil Method 
Settlement of North Carolina

Directions and Parking

The North Carolina Museum of History is located in downtown Raleigh—between the State Capitol and the Legislative Building on Jones Street—at 5 East Edenton Street (between Salisbury and Wilmington Streets). The main entrance faces Bicentennial Plaza and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The museum’s main phone number is 919-807-7900.

FROM the NORTH or EAST: Take the Capital Boulevard exit off I-440 north of Raleigh. Follow the Capital Boulevard (Downtown) designation. Continue south approximately two miles and turn left onto Jones Street. Go three blocks. The museum is on the right.

FROM the WEST or SOUTH: Take the Person Street exit off I-40. Proceed north for two miles. Turn left onto Edenton Street. Go three blocks. The museum is ahead on the right.

PARKING: Bus parking is available in a lot off Jones Street; enter after crossing Blount Street. Limited space for parking automobiles and small vans ($2 per hour) is available in a surface lot east of the museum and can be accessed from Jones Street or Edenton Street.

Check-In and Lunch Options

Check-In: A registration table with the final schedule of events will be located in the museum lobby. All groups will begin with an orientation session in the auditorium. Please have your confirmation information ready as you check in.

Lunch Options: Due to the high volume of visitors, the museum will not be able to provide storage for lunches on this busy day. Picnic tables and benches are available outside the museum in Fletcher Garden. You may pre-order lunches from the museum’s on-site restaurant, Pharaoh’s. For more information on prepacked lunches, click here.

Map of Activities

Teachers and Group Leaders of Registered Groups,

Please print out the schedule of activities prior to your arrival and share this information with your chaperones. Printed programs will also be available at check-in.

See you at the museum soon!


Do we all have to stay together as one group? No. Have your group prepared to split into smaller groups of no more than 10. Each small group should have an adult with it. Decide in advance which stations your group may want to visit.

Where should I start? All groups begin in the auditorium with an orientation, as well as a dance-and-drum exhibition. After your orientation, your small groups visit the various stations and activities at their own pace and in whatever order you decide.

Will I get to see every station? No. You’ll find lots of stations—some timed sessions and workshops, some ongoing demonstrations, and some hands-on activities. You may visit as many different stations as time and space allow, but it is very unlikely that you will be able to visit them all.

What do I do at the stations where people are demonstrating making something? Watch what they are doing carefully for at least 2 minutes, and then ask questions! What tools do they need? What materials are they using? Is what they are making something you can buy in a store? What’s their favorite part of making this thing? What’s their least favorite? Who taught them how to do it? Are they teaching anyone else? What’s the object for? Ask yourself, could I make this if I needed to?

Which term should I use: Native American or American Indian? It depends! The term Native American came into use in the 1960s and is used by the US Census. Many tribes now prefer the term American Indian, but people have personal preferences. We follow the policy of the NC Commission of Indian Affairs and use the term American Indian.

Should I know about any special rules? Ask permission before you take pictures. Ask permission before touching items or regalia. Be respectful. Don’t ask “Are you a real Indian?” or reference stereotypes like saying “How” or making the “war whoop” sound. These practices are offensive and not representative of Indian


If I don’t see every station, how can I learn more? We encourage each small group to attend different stations so that after your visit, groups can teach each other about what they learned. You can also check out activities and information on our website: Lastly, if you live nearby, come back tomorrow for our 23rd annual American Indian Heritage Celebration! The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Many of the same presenters will be here, plus we’ll have a large performance stage outside, authors, scholars, filmmakers, and more!

Teacher Tips

Distribute the schedule. Please ask teachers and chaperones to familiarize themselves with the schedule on the museum’s website. Copies of the final schedule will be available at the registration table when your group checks in.

Allow plenty of time to arrive. Groups of students will be arriving every 30 minutes beginning at 9 a.m. Please be considerate of volunteers, presenters, and other groups by arriving on time.

Be sure to register and pay for any additions to your group upon arrival. Have your confirmation information ready. Checks should be received within two weeks of booking your group for the event and should be made out to Education Program Funds. A registration table will be outside the auditorium in the museum lobby. All groups will begin with an orientation session in the auditorium. Additional curriculum materials and evaluations can be picked up at the registration table.

Have your group prepared to split into smaller groups (about 10–12), each with an adult. After orientation, smaller groups can visit the various stations.

Not every group will have time to visit every station. Please inform your students and chaperones ahead of time that they may visit as many different stations as time allows (but they might not be able to visit them all). We encourage you to schedule student teaching time after your visit to allow your students to teach each other about what they learned.

Prepare your students. Take a little time before you arrive to review with your students what they will see and do. Some stations have hands-on activities. Other stations are for listening, watching, and asking questions. Click here for suggestions on how to encourage students to interact with demonstrators and presenters.

Want more? Encourage students to come back with their families on Saturday to show what they have learned! The museum’s FREE 23rd Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration takes place Saturday, November 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Still have questions? If you have further questions or concerns about the program, please contact Emily Grant, youth programs coordinator, at 919-807-7979 or

Have fun, and enjoy the day! Thanks for coming.