Welcome to North Dakota Department of Public Instruction’s Teachings Of Our Elders website. This is the home of the newly adopted North Dakota Native American Essential Understandings (NDNAEU) as well as a growing collection of Elder video interviews, lesson plans and other resources dedicated to helping Educators incorporate the NDNAEU into their classrooms and curriculum!
Teachings of our Elders
April 2015 was the first gathering of elders meeting in Bismarck, North Dakota. The elder representatives from the North Dakota tribal groups joined together in sharing, storytelling, and wisdom conversations to determine the development of the "understandings" about native culture, history, and lifestyle that are "essential" for all of North Dakota's children to know.
This began the process of the development of the North Dakota Native American Essential Understanding (NDNAEU) project. This project will allow students in schools to learn all of their usual academic subjects, gain an understanding about the traditional ways and concepts identified as essential by elders in North Dakota, as well as increase understanding and appreciation within the schools.
May 2015 was the second gathering of elders meeting in Bismarck, North Dakota. The elder representatives from the tribal groups in North Dakota joined together to look at the themes that came out of the first meeting in April and to determine the "understandings" about native culture and history that are "essential" for all of North Dakota students to know. The common understandings were drafted that the tribes shared and language was developed for the NDNAEU. The seven "understandings" with short descriptors were developed from this meeting. Feedback and revisions were made by the elders and the final draft document was sent to the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction for review and approval.
Members of the NDNAEU team are Native American elders and educators that represent one of the many tribes indigenous to the land base that the current boundaries of North Dakota encompass. The Teachings of our Elders video series was developed along with the NDNAEU resource document .
North Dakota Native American Essential Understandings resource document was sent all schools in North Dakota.