North Dakota Native American Essential Understandings Project

Are you looking for a way to be increase your effectiveness in the classroom and reach more of your students in a meaningful way? Do you want to encourage authentic collaboration and increase achievement for all our North Dakota students?

This project will allow students in schools to learn all of their usual academic subjects, while also gaining an understanding about the traditional ways and concepts identified as essential by Native American elders in North Dakota. It will also increase understanding and appreciation within the schools.

NDNAEU is a growing collection of video interviews with Native American elders, lesson plans, and other resources. These resources, and more information about the project, can be found on the  Teachings of Our Elders website.

In the initial phases of the project, seven “understandings” with short descriptors were developed from meetings with elders, and a final draft document was approved by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI). Videos and lesson plans were also created, and ongoing development and use of the NDNAEU project is considered vital for meeting the needs of all students, and addressing achievement gaps. It is also an important for increasing the effectiveness of ESSA.

Throughout 2016 and 2017, more tribal Elders are being interviewed, additional lessons tied to the NDNAEU are being developed by North Dakota Educators, and the website will be updated for manageability as these resources are completed. District trainings are also available to help educators learn more about the project, and how to implement the resources. For more information about these trainings, please contact the project developers. 

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