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Native American Relationships to Animals: Not Your "Spirit Animal"

NK360° Helpful Handouts: Guidance on Common Questions provide a brief introduction to teachers about important topics regarding Native American life, cultures, and communities. Native American Relationships to Animals: Not Your "Spirit Animal" explores some Native cultural practices connected to animal life and kinship. Use this guide to support appropriate use of Native animal imagery in classrooms. Culturally sensitive activities and resources connected to Native life and animals are provided.

Resource Information

grades   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Art, English Language Arts, Environmental Science, Social Studies
Clan, animal, fish, bear, turtle, spirit, tradition, culture, totem pole, petroglyph, pictograph, spirituality, spiritual, story, family, kinship, environment, creation, natural world, balance, local, winter count, buffalo, horse, wildlife, cultural, sensitive, clan system, bison, Native American cultures
Essential Understandings More Close

3: People, Places, and Environments
The story of American Indians in the Western Hemisphere is intricately intertwined with places and environments. Native knowledge systems resulted from long-term occupation of tribal homelands, and observation and interaction with places. American Indians understood and valued the relationship between local environments and cultural traditions, and recognized that human beings are part of the environment.