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 Native Ways of Knowing Micro-Courses Will Launch in November

Anyone can learn more about how to educate themselves and students about the diverse histories, cultures, and contributions of California Native peoples through the Native Ways of Knowing micro-courses.

The short, online courses and resources will launch Nov. 1 to coincide with Native American Heritage Month. They were created by the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and California Indian Education for All as a way for educators and leaders to learn from Native American educational, cultural, and tribal experts.

"Educators and leaders will learn how to champion Indigenous education and design programs that support cultural and linguistic preservation and revitalization," said Dr. Staci Block, who led the work for SDCOE. "The culturally responsive resources shared will improve representations and classroom climates for teaching and learning about California's first people."

Courses include Understanding Land Acknowledgements, Foundational Understanding of Teaching and Learning about Native Americans, and Tribal Language Preservation and Revitalization. Teaching toolkits full of resources include Decolonize Thanksgiving, Indigenous Voices of California Missions, and American Indian Removal.

"We are excited to launch these innovative and indigenized digital professional learnings," Block said. "Each micro-course is authored by a skilled American Indian scholar and cultural expert."

While developing the Equity Blueprint for Action, the tribal community voices clearly shared the need for school districts to provide professional learning, so educators have knowledge of local indigenous communities and accurate historical perspectives from American Indians.

"It's really important for teachers especially to build relationships with native students because as native people, connection and community orientedness is very integral to us," shared Anthony, a student who helped moderate the Native American Student Experience Panel

California is home to nearly 200 tribal nations. There is great diversity among the tribes of California, including the 18 San Diego tribal communities, in their languages, cultures, histories, and government.

The California Indian Education for All effort will be featured at an Ethnic Studies Collaborative meeting Nov. 4. The collaborative meets the first Thursday of every month to understand, design, and collaborate on the ethnic studies and social justice K-12 curriculum. Register here for more information on upcoming meetings.