Teaching Native American History and Culture

MNHS is your partner in history education. Learn about products, experiences and resources developed to broaden your knowledge and engage students around Native American history and culture.

In your classroom

For more information, or to purchase these resources, email amy.feole@mnhs.org or call 651-259-3435.

Primary source packets

Engage students and offer new perspectives about historical people and events through primary source images and inquiry-based activities. Many topics to choose from, including Native Minnesota: Dakota & Ojibwe Homeland, Objects of the Fur Trade and American Indian Termination and Relocation.

More primary source packet topics

Ojibwe Shoulder Bag Kit

Engage students in history with the Ojibwe Shoulder Bag Activity Kit — a creative way to teach Native American culture.

More about the Ojibwe Shoulder Bag Kit

Best-selling Native American books & resources

Download 4-page PDF catalog highlighting books, curriculum products, on-line resources, handmade Native American art and cultural objects, and more.

Field trips

Jeffers Petroglyphs (Comfrey)

Amid the prairie grasses of southwestern Minnesota are islands of uncovered rock, where Native American ancestors left carvings called petroglyphs. They tell a story that spans more than 7,000 years. School programs incorporate history, anthropology, archaeology, and biology.

Jeffers Petroglyphs field trip options

Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post (Onamia)

On the shores of Mille Lacs Lake, you’ll find a captivating museum packed with artifacts, dioramas, multi-media presentations and more. Choose from seven different field trip options to create a customized experience for your class.

Mille Lacs Indian Museum field trip options

Snake River Fur Post, formerly North West Company Fur Post (Pine City)

Take a trip into the world of British fur traders, voyageurs and the Ojibwe, ca. 1804. Through lessons, demonstrations, and guided tours, your students can explore exhibits on the fur trade and the cultures it brought together.

Snake River Fur Post field trip options

Teacher membership

Reduced membership rates for current teachers, school administrators and staff, and homeschool parents who join or renew MNHS. It’s the best deal in history!

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Receive 20% off MNHS Press titles with your K-12 school’s Tax Exempt ID number. Email amy.feole@mnhs.org or call 651-259-3435 for more information or to place an order.

Josie Dances. An Ojibwe girl practices her dance steps, gets help from her family, and is inspired by the soaring flight of Migizi, the eagle, as she prepares for her first powwow. American Indians in Children's Literature Best Books of 2021.

Bowwow Powwow. The best days of summer end at the powwow, but Windy Girl take the revelry of the gathering one step farther, into a dreamworld where the dancers and singers are dogs. Bilingual English and Ojibwe. 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Award winner for Picture book.

The Forever Sky. Brothers look to the stars and spin stories, some inspired by Uncle, some of their own making. The best one involves their grandmother and her place in the forever sky.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask. Ojibwe scholar Anton Treuer provides matter-of-fact responses to over 120 questions, both thoughtful and outrageous, modern and historical, building a foundation for true understanding.

A Good Time for the Truth. Minnesota communities struggle with some of the nation’s worst racial disparities. As its authors confront and consider the realities that lie beneath the numbers, this book provides an important tool to those who want to be part of closing those gaps.

Mni Sota Makoce, The Land of the Dakota. “Minnesota” is derived from the Dakota phrase Mni Sota Makoce, Land Where the Waters Reflect the Clouds—and the people’s roots here remain strong. Mni Sota Makoce tells the detailed history of the Dakota people in their traditional homelands.

More titles related to Native American history and culture

Online resources

Seven Council Fires Searchable database of Dakota, Lakota and Nakota cultural objects in the Minnesota Historical Society’s collection, totaling approximately 1,000 artifacts.

The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 Comprehensive web resource for learning about the war, its causes, and its far-reaching consequences.

Ojibwe Material Culture Searchable database of Ojibwe cultural objects in the Minnesota Historical Society’s collection, totaling over 2,000 artifacts.

MNopedia A resource for reliable information about significant people, places, events, and things in Minnesota history, including many Native American topics.