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One way to engage students in Native American heritage is with historical novels.

Lands of Our Ancestors, a three-book series by Gary Robinson, is designed for fourth grade readers and follows three generations of a Chumash Indian family as they face challenges in major eras of California history: the Spanish mission era, the Mexican rancho period, the Gold Rush, and early statehood. Vetted by the California Indian History Curriculum Coalition (CIHCC), the books and accompanying teacher guides meet state history–social studies standards and provide an alternative for teaching fourth grade state history.

Cover of book "An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People"

Older students can read An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese (young adult level). The colonization and settlement of Indigenous lands at the expense of Indigenous people is seen through a narrative centered on the story, experiences and perspectives of Indigenous peoples.

Click here to find more curriculum and classroom resources at the CIHCC site at Sacramento State.

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