As we prepare as a district to observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the week ahead of October 9th, 2017 and Italian Heritage Month this October; the social studies office would like to take this time to express the important power we have to transform instruction through the lens of social studies. Changing the practice of celebrating Christopher Columbus to a practice of celebrating indigenous peoples’ presence, endurance and accomplishments while honoring Italian Americans for their history and contributions is vital to sustaining a coherent curriculum that is rooted in cultural responsiveness.
In regards to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we think you may be interested in some Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to this observance. In addition we encourage educators to visit the web site of our local Onondaga Nation where you will find a plethora of resources and knowledge about the wonderful contributions Indigenous Peoples’ have made to our larger society.
The social studies office encourages all of us to avoid multicultural tokenism by implementing the successful integration of cultural history from multiple perspectives on Indigenous Peoples’ throughout the year and not only during a “scheduled” holiday or time of the year. For this reason, each grade in social studies curriculum is carefully crafted to observe holiday observances and yet also reflect on ethnic identity and particular ethnic groups throughout our instructional frameworks.