SOE News

LEARN NC helps create new curriculum guide about N.C.'s American Indians

A new online curriculum guide for K-12 teachers, “Teaching About American Indians in North Carolina,” has been created at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

UNC’s American Indian Center and LEARN NC in the School of Education (Learners’ and Educators’ Assistance and Resource Network of North Carolina) completed the guide for November, which is American Indian Heritage Month across the country.

The guide consists of culturally appropriate, tribally submitted information on all eight state-recognized Indian tribes: the Coharie, Haliwa-Saponi, Meherrin, Sappony, Waccamaw Siouan, Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

“This is a historically significant project,” said Randi R. Byrd of the center. “To our knowledge, never before has an effort been made to coordinate with the eight tribes for the telling of their own stories from their own perspectives – both their histories and contemporary lives today. This curriculum guide is more than teaching about history. Teachers will understand that these tribes are still here today and have diverse and flourishing cultures.”

Resources include best practices for teaching about American Indians, suggestions for curriculum integration, community-submitted historic and contemporary visual resources and lesson plans.

The site soon will add online training sessions for teachers about how to use the guide. LEARN NC specializes in online resources and services for K-12 teachers and students.

The guide, available at, was created with a $10,000 grant to the center from the North Carolina Humanities Council. Last year another council grant of $10,000 allowed the center to host training workshops for teachers on how to use a pilot edition of the guide. It focused on the state’s two largest tribes, the Lumbee and Eastern Band Cherokee.

For more information, call Byrd at (919) 843-5927 or LEARN NC at (919) 962-8888.