Educator Programs

Professional development opportunities for teachers at the National Museum of the American Indian can benefit educators in all subject areas. Workshops span a range of topics and enable teachers to discover analytical approaches to connect the museum's collections and content with classroom teaching strategies. Sessions help educators explore new content about American Indian cultures and history and encourage new methods for teaching with objects in the classroom. Workshops include take-home materials and classroom resources, as well as new ideas for interdisciplinary curriculum connections.

Learn about the NMAI's educational resources—including curriculum for the classroom, teacher workshops, and educational strategies—in the museum’s free, quarterly teacher e-newsletter.

Visit this page regularly for information on upcoming NMAI workshops and special offerings for educators. Join the email list to receive announcements throughout the school year. Email the NMAI in Washington, D.C. ( or New York, N.Y. ( with education-related inquiries.

Educator Programs in Washington, DC

What Does it Mean to Remove a People? Resources to Support Your Teaching of American Indian Forced Removals

October 19, 2017
7–8 PM ET and 7–8 PM PT

Many people associate the term “Trail of Tears” with the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation from the southeastern United States to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). However, there were other forced removals of tribes from the eastern and midwestern United States to various locations across the U.S., some of which might have been from, or crossed through, other areas of the country.

A new NMAI online lesson provides perspectives from Native American community members, documents, maps, images, and activities to help teach an important and difficult chapter in the history both of Native Nations and the United States. Coupled with U.S. government records from the National Archives, these resources provide a fuller picture of the scope of removal and its impact on Native people.

Join the National Archives and the National Museum of the American Indian, along with Robert Perry, Chickasaw storyteller, to learn about available curriculum resources. Registration is required. Connection information for the webinar will be sent to registered participants via email the week of the event. This event is one of a series of webinars featuring new National Archives resources for locating and using Federal records related to Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

Image: Map of Lands Assigned to Indians, Western Territory, ca. 1834. DocsTeach

American Indian Foundations: Teaching Beyond Food, Clothing & Shelter

National Museum of the American Indian
Washington, D.C.
October 21, 2017
9:30 AM–12:30 PM

What resources in art and literature can teachers use to teach about American Indian cultures in the past and today? How can teachers improve their own understanding of what is accurate and appropriate? Teachers will leave with strategies and resources that will add depth and breadth to teaching and inspire inquiry in the classroom. Recommended for elementary teachers, particularly for grades 2–4. There is a $10 fee for registered participants. Online registration is required.

Then and Now: Native Voices in American History Presented with the Smithsonian American Art Museum

MacMillan Education Center
Smithsonian American Art Museum December 9, 2017
9:30 AM–1:30 PM

What learning opportunities arise when we add complexity to "the story" of westward expansion? How can Native perspectives and contemporary events engage student historians-in-training? Teachers will learn strategies and resources that will help add depth and breadth to their teaching and inspire inquiry in the classroom. There is a $10 fee for registered participants. Online registration is required.

Image: Jaune Quick-To-See Smith (Flathead, b. 1940), State Names, 2000. Oil, collage, and mixed media on canvas, 48 x 72 in. (121.9 x 182.9 cm). Smithsonian American Art Museum. Gift of Elizabeth Ann Dugan and museum purchase. (2004.28)

Educator Programs in New York, NY

Essential Understandings:
New Possibilities for Creating Student Learning Experiences

Election Day Professional Development for Educators

National Museum of the American Indian
New York, NY
November 7, 2017
9:30 AM–3 PM

Learn about the National Museum of the American Indian’s national education initiative, Native Knowledge 360°, and its Framework for Essential Understandings about American Indians. This workshop will address culturally sensitive ways to approach the study of diverse American Indian cultures in the classroom. This foundational workshop will support your teaching of indigenous peoples’ history, culture, and art and help you to learn concepts and strategies to assess educational materials in your school and libraries. This event is FREE, online registration is required.