The Chickasaw Nation recently was awarded a federal grant to develop an online curriculum resource for educators in collaboration with the First Americans Museum (FAM), Oklahoma City.
Through the grant, dubbed the Chickasaw Nation Online Educator Resource Planning Grant, the Chickasaw Nation will partner with FAM to develop a publicly accessible online template that will provide K-12 educators with a centralized resource for educational curriculum informed by Oklahoma tribal nations.
The goal of the project is to ensure the histories and cultures of the tribes within the state are accurately portrayed, respected and shared in the classroom, Chickasaw Nation Department of Education Director of Student Development Angela Wrublewski said.
“We hope to create an online resource where a teacher can find a lesson plan that aligns with Oklahoma academic standards in a wide range of subjects and they'll be able to find one that comes from a tribal nation, so we know that it's honoring their story and their history,” she said.
The genesis of the project began with an inquiry from a school in Chickasaw Country requesting First American history lessons from the Chickasaw Nation.
The grant will launch efforts to include many tribal nations to submit updated, accurate information and centralize the curriculum resources for teachers.
“The project aims to strengthen professional relationships amongst tribal nations and educators in Oklahoma and will increase tribal capacity to provide interactive and accurate educational materials online,” she said.
Ms. Wrublewski said partnering with FAM on this project aligned with both organizations’ goals, to share accurate information about First American history and culture and allow each tribe to tell their own story.
“FAM is honored to partner with Chickasaw Nation Department of Education on this important project to provide tribally produced classroom resources to educators across North America,” said FAM Director of Learning and Community Engagement Adrienne Lalli Hills (Wyandotte Nation).
The grant will build the foundation for the resource for educators, Ms. Hills added.
Awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services (NANH) program, grant funds will support a digital strategy consultant who will conduct a requirement review, gather and inventory assets and develop information architecture.
Additionally, a full-time project coordinator will be employed to engage with diverse stakeholders to collaborate on the creation of a comprehensive plan for the implementation of the educator resource.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums.
The Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services (NANH) grant program is designed to support Indian tribes and organizations that primarily serve and represent Native Hawaiians in sustaining heritage, culture, and knowledge through exhibitions, educational services and programming, workforce professional development, organizational capacity building and collections stewardship.
To learn more, visit Imls.gov.
About First Americans Museum
FAM’s mission is to educate the broader public about the unique cultures, diversity, history and contributions of the 39 tribal nations in Oklahoma today. The 175,000-square-foot facility showcases state-of-the-art exhibitions in history, culture and art; live public and education programs; a full-service restaurant presenting unique Native-inspired cuisine; and a museum shop featuring one-of-a -kind, hand-made items created by Oklahoma’s premier Native American artists.
FAM is located at 659 First Americans Blvd., Oklahoma City.
For more information, visit Famok.org.