Telling the American Story
The American story has been profoundly shaped by American Indians, yet the stories told about Indians are often false and almost always incomplete. What do we gain by telling stories that may not be true? What do we lose? In this program, students will examine three key events in American history—the First Thanksgiving, the life of Pocahontas, and the Battle of Little Bighorn—to uncover the hidden stories behind them.
This program is associated with the Americans exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
- Discuss three familiar stories—the first Thanksgiving, the life of Pocahontas, and the Battle of Little Bighorn—and identify parts of these stories (characters, setting, conflict, etc.) that make them interesting and give them staying power.
- Explore multiple perspectives and identify the parts of these familiar stories that are false and/or incomplete.
- Examine the ways in which American Indian stories are shared and how this impacts the way we remember them.
2: Time, Continuity, and Change
Indigenous people played a significant role in the history of the Americas. Many of these historically important events and developments in the Americas shaped the modern world.
Providing an American Indian context to history makes for a greater understanding of world history.
College, Career & Civic Life—C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standard(s):
Use questions generated about multiple historical sources to pursue further inquiry and investigate additional sources.
Analyze how historical contexts shaped and continue to shape people's perspectives.
Use the calendar below to request a virtual field trip. Programs must be requested at least 7 days in advance. All program times are in Eastern Standard Time (EST).
As part of the registration process, you will be asked to confirm your program theme. NMAI staff will review your program request and contact you to confirm whether your request can be accommodated.
We recommend scheduling a test call with us before your program. You will be able to request a test call on the registration form.
Questions? Contact Group Reservations at NMAI-GroupReservations@si.edu.