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California Indian History Curriculum
About the CIHCC
The California Indian History Curriculum Coalition (CIHCC) was given birth under the umbrella of the annual California Indian Conference (CIC) and was conceptualized in 2014 at CSU San Bernardino’s CIC. The informal coalition of educators, tribal scholars and native activists are promoting the implementation of California Indian Curriculum Summits. The goal of the Coalition is to promote the creation, adoption and implementation of California Indian-vetted curricula. In collaboration with public/private school educators, the focus is to infuse California Indian voice in the content of what our children learn in school. See a video about the origins of the CIHCC.
Map of California Indian pre-contact tribal territories
Curricula & Lesson Plans
- Lands of our Ancestors: An educational resource for 4th grade teachers and libraries. Author: Gary Robinson
- Kumeyaay Heritage and Conservation Project: Learning Landscapes Educational Curriculum
- Video: Kumeyaay Songs and Stories, told by Stan Rodriguez
- Video: The Coyote and the Rabbit, told by Stan Rodriguez
- The Gift Basket: Story and Unit of Study
Using a California Indian Story to Teach Literacy, History, and Science; Author: Cathleen Chilcote Wallace
Video on using the curriculum
- Miwok Indians: Analysis of Primary and Secondary Sources
A lesson plan for the Middle School History Classroom; Author: Chelsea Gaynor
- Run4Salmon 4th grade curriculum
- Run4Salmon Teacher's Guide for high school
- Standing on Sacred Ground Teacher's Guide
- In the Light of Reverence Teacher's Guide (with Hopi and Lakota)
- "Dancing Salmon Home" (film)
- In the Light of Reverence and Standing on Sacred Ground films
Publications & Resources
"A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California's Indians by the Spanish Missions," Craven Street Books, 2015. Elias Castillo.
"An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States," Revisioning American History Series, Beacon Press, 2015. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.
"Early California Laws and Policies Related to California Indians," California Research Bureau, 2002. Kimberly Johnston-Dodds.
"Home to Medicine Mountain": Maidu youth experience in government-run Indian residential schools in California.
"Introduction to Ethnic Studies," Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2016. Dale Allender and Gregory Yee Mark.
*Proposed Curriculum Framework*: Recommended cultural and historical themes
"Resurrecting the Past: The California Mission Myth," Great Oak Press, Pechanga, California, 2016. Michelle Lorimer.
Tribal Eye Productions creates Native American books and films.
"More than a Word": trailer of documentary exploring the history of Native American based sports mascots from the Indigenous perspective.
News from Native California offers links to California Indian tribal, health, legal, artistic, cultural, linguistic and media resources.
"Tending the Wild": broadcast special exploring the environmental knowledge of indigenous peoples across California
Other titles from outside California
"A Man Called Raven": a tribute to the wisdom of the raven
"Baby Rattlesnake/Viborita de Cascabel": A bilingual (English/Spanish) tale of a Pawnee family
"Bears Make Rock Soup": Plains Ojibway
"Buffalo Song": the story of Salish Indian Walking Coyote
"Crazy Horse's Vision": the true story of the great Sioux warrior
"Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message": an Iriquois celebration as told by a Mohawk chief
"Jim Thorpe's Bright Path": biography
"Kiki's Journey": A Tiwa family discover their heritage in the Taos Pueblo Reservation.
"Rattlesnake Mesa: Stories from a Native American Childhood": experiences of a Pawnee girl in the Phoenix Indian School
"The People Shall Continue": Acoma Pueblo
"This Land is My Land": Plains Cree history
"Quiet Hero: The Ira Hayes Story": biography of a Pima Indian
Stories in the media
Indigenous Teachers Offer Longer View Of California History
Jefferson Public Radio (5/20/2019)
Indigenous educators fight for an accurate history of California
High Country News (4/29/2019)
American Indian Heritage Month
California Educator (Oct/Nov 2018)
Moving beyond the Missions: California Builds Inclusive Native History Curriculum
Nonprofit Quarterly (8/1/18)
Native Americans Push Schools To Include Their Story In California History Classes
Huffington Post (7/30/18)
Native Americans push schools to include their story in California history classes
San Jose Mercury News (7/29/18)
Professor helps reframe how state's mission history is seen
Sacramento State News (4/3/2018)
Education Summit at CIC
News from Native California (10/10/17)
A New (and More Accurate) Way to Teach California Indian History
CSU System News (10/4/17)
The California missions school project is becoming a thing of the past. Here’s why
Los Angeles Daily News (9/24/17)
Good riddance to California's 'mission project'
Los Angeles Times (9/19/17)
Fourth grade mission model project could be history
The San Diego Union-Tribune (9/15/17)
The True California Mission Story
Indian Country Today (8/23/17)
Repeat after us, say no to the mission project.
California History-Social Science Project (5/23/17)
Mission Project Protests Help Spur Changes
Capital Public Radio (5/17/17)
The Lesser-Told Story Of The California Missions
Lying to Children About the California Missions and the Indians
Huffington Post (3/23/15)
Experiences from the field:
Parent-teacher guides son through alternative mission project
Sacramento State (10/23/17)
Kumeyaay historian dispels the California origin myth
Sacramento State (10/12/17)
Professors work to change credential students' thinking about mission project
Sacramento State (10/3/17)
Teacher makes indigenous people the focus of alternative missions project
Sacramento State (9/15/17)
Kumeyaay curriculum a useful model for schools
Sacramento State (9/7/17)
The San Diego Mission and Kumeyaay Revolt: A (decolonized) mission report written by my nine year old daughter (or don't try to tell me that fourth graders can't understand a more complex view of history)
Cutcha Risling Baldy (6/13/17)
Gabe Medina’s Fourth Grade “Mission” Project
FNX First Nations Experience (2015)
Standing Up to Sugar Cubes: The Contest over Ethnic Identity in California's Fourth-Grade Mission Curriculum
Southern California Quarterly (Summer 2010)
Repeal, Replace and Reframe the 4th Grade Mission project
With the recent adoption of the new History-Social Science Framework by the California State Board of Education, it is acknowledged that the story of California begins in pre-Columbian times. For this reason, it is important that we include the voices and history of California Indians.
To this end, the practice of creating models of the California missions and not including the impact and daily life of the native population within these missions has perpetuated a false narrative. As indicated by the State Board of Education, “building missions from sugar cubes or popsicle sticks does not help students understand the period and is offensive to many. ... Missions were sites of conflict, conquest, and forced labor.”
The intention of this resolution is to set in motion the replacement units so that educators in California, as well as those in our teacher education pipeline, can access the California Indian perspective that has been absent.
We need your support to help produce new standards-based curricula to reframe California’s history.
First, if you support this endeavor, sign on to the Resolution to Repeal, Replace and Reframe the 4th Grade Mission Project
Second, share the project with your networks:
Your tax-deductible gift helps us develop vetted curriculum projects.
Dr. Rose Borunda, 916-278-6310
Dr. Khal Schneider, 916-278-6206
Gregg Castro, <t'rowt'raahl Salinan / rumsien Ohlone; Board member, Salinan T'rowt'raahl - Salinan cultural organization
Dr. Sue Hobbs, 916-278-7368
Media inquiries: Brian Blomster, 916-278-7043