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Indigenous North America

This course is built on Open Educational Practices, which partially means that the students are the teachers! You have the freedom to discover resources for yourselves so you can teach each other about different Indigenous nations or confederacies in North America.

This guide contains suggested resources that you can use to do your research. The options listed on the pages (gray tabs) called "Library Resources" and "Online Resources" are general resources that don't pertain to a specific presentation.

Each presentation assignment has its own page with additional resources that are most relevant to that part of class. Some are broken down further by nation/confederacy.

Searching tips

  • Some nations may have more than one commonly used name or spelling, such as Ojibway, who are also referred to as Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa, or Saulteaux.
    • Keep an eye out for these as you research, and try using different options if you aren't finding anything!
  • You may be able to find information about your assigned nation or confederacy by searching for a larger group they belong to, or a smaller group that belongs to them. The site Native Land (also on the Online Resources page) can help with this. Examples:
    • The First Nations of Canada include groups such as the Cree and Sioux.
    • The Sioux can be broken into groups based on the language people speak: Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota.
  • When searching in library databases, put words that are part of a phrase in quotation marks:
    • "First Nations"


Commonly used terms in American-Based Content:  

  • Native American
  • American Indian
  • Indigenous
  • Alaskan Native 
  • Pacific Islanders
  • Hawaii Natives

Commonly used terms in Canadian-Based Content:

  • Native
  • First Nations
  • Aboriginal
  • First Peoples


Follow this link for information about terminology from the University of British Columbia's First Nations and Indigenous Studies department: