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About Native Knowledge 360°

Native Knowledge 360° (NK360°) provides educators and students with new perspectives on Native American history and cultures. Most Americans have only been exposed to part of the story, as told from a single perspective through the lenses of popular media and textbooks. NK360° provides educational materials, virtual student programs, and teacher training that incorporate Native narratives, more comprehensive histories, and accurate information to enlighten and inform teaching and learning about Native America. NK360° challenges common assumptions about Native peoples and offers a view that includes not only the past but also the vibrancy of Native peoples and cultures today.

Essential Understandings about American Indians

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Essential Understandings are an educational framework of key concepts based on the ten themes of the National Council for the Social Studies standards. They serve as a foundation for educational materials developed by the NMAI. In addition, educators, curriculum developers, administrators, and others can use these Essential Understandings to conceptualize new curricula, lessons, and learning activities. This framework can lead students to new knowledge about Native Americans as historical and contemporary people with diverse cultures and roles, namely as diplomats and leaders, civic engineers, orators, scientists, agriculturalists, participants in global events, and much more. Available in English and Spanish.

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New Materials for Teachers and Students

The NMAI is constantly creating new online educational materials that embrace a richer and more inclusive discourse about Native Americans. Mindful of today's classroom demands and priorities, these materials are manageable in scope and address academic standards. NK360° lessons engage students through explorations of the most relevant and crucial stories from the histories and contemporary lives of Native peoples.

Created in collaboration with Native communities themselves, NMAI resources bring the Native voice directly into the classroom. NK360° offers teachers and students of various grade levels a rich selection of geographically and culturally diverse resources.

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Professional Development for Teachers

NK360° professional development supports educators to build more inclusive and culturally-responsive classrooms, and to support social justice for Native Americans.

The NMAI is working to build a nationwide network of teachers, trainers, and advocates for improved education about Native Americans. The NMAI offers a variety of online and in-person professional development designed to equip teachers with critical concepts, more complete content, and engaging pedagogy that will support a transformation in their teaching and learning about Native Americans.

NK360° Teacher Institutes are the centerpiece of the NMAI's professional development programs. Institutes are hosted in Washington, D.C., New York, and around the country, featuring interactions with the NMAI's educators, scholars, world-class collections, and exhibitions along with experts from Native communities. Participants are immersed in the NMAI's newest instructional resources and have opportunities to plan integration for their own classrooms.

The NMAI offers numerous professional development formats for educators to increase their expertise, including webinars, online courses, workshops, and teach-ins.

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National Advocacy and Partnerships

NK360° is aligned with the work of many Native Nations, states, and organizations that share a common goal of improving teaching and learning about Native Americans. By supporting collective efforts and engaging in creative collaborations with like-minded organizations, the NMAI seeks to elevate the national dialogue and accelerate change on this important educational issue. At national and regional conferences, through symposia, scholarly publications, and media presentations, the NMAI adds its voice to the cumulative call for new and more effective approaches to education about American Indians. The NMAI's objective is that these efforts will result in a better-educated American public—one with an increased understanding of the complexity, diversity, and relevancy of Native peoples. Most important, Native youth themselves will no longer have to question why their stories are absent from their education.