Indigenous Peoples’ Day, celebrated on the second Monday of October, is a way of celebrating the resiliency, contributions, and culture of Indigenous peoples. As a transition educator, it is important that you recognize that different cultures can require different approaches to transition.
According to the Understanding Disabilities in American Indians & Alaska Native Communities Toolkit:
- In 2018, 18% of American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) students aged 3–21 received special education services, the highest of any racial/ethnic group.
- There is a 67% AI/AN graduation rate compared to a national average of 80%.
- In Indiana, .23% of children with disabilities identify as American Indian / Alaska Native (Office of Special Education Programs).
Informed transition educators strive to understand the diverse cultural backgrounds of their students, and then remain open to differences that may be necessary for individual transition success. For example, see this article from Achola and Greene about how to plan for a positive transition experience for the culturally and linguistically diverse in your classrooms.
Check out the resources below to find out how you can help students with disabilities who identify as native celebrate their heritage—and at the same time educate all your students about native history and contributions.
- How Teachers are Honoring Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Classroom resources from Donors Choose.
- Native Knowledge 360°
Created by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, this site has educational material, virtual student programs, and teacher training programs.
- Indigenous Peoples’ Day Resources
A selection of lessons, books, and films by the Zinn Education Project.
- Native Land Digital
Interactive map of Indigenous territories all around the world.
- Native American Tribes in Indiana
Clearinghouse of information from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources; includes a calendar of events in Indiana.
- Eiteljorg Museum
Resources and Indigenous Peoples’ Day information.
- Indigenize Indiana
Statement on indigenization from Indiana University’s First Nations Educational and Cultural Center including a pronunciation guide for four tribal names indigenous to Indiana.