UMaine’s support for Wabanaki studies in K-12 schools highlighted by Indian Country Today

John Bear Mitchell, lecturer of Wabanaki studies and outreach and student development coordinator at the University of Maine Wabanaki Center, was featured on Indian Country Today (ICT) discussing new initiatives aimed at better preparing the state’s K-12 educators to teach Wabanaki studies.

Starting this school year, teacher education students in the UMaine College of Education and Human Development will complete the University of Maine System’s Dawnland micro-credential, a self-directed online course developed by Mitchell that explores the history and culture of the Indigenous people of Maine — the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Mi’kmaq and Maliseet. Beginning next year, the college will require pre-service teachers to take an advanced topics course that Mitchell is piloting this spring called Teaching Wabanaki Studies, designed to give future educators the tools they need to build lessons and curriculum in a variety of subject areas.

Mitchell, who is Penobscot, tells ICT TV that the goal of teaching Wabanaki history and culture in Maine’s K-12 schools, which is required by a 2001 law, ought to be “to take people’s questions, fears, anxieties about who we are away from them by just teaching them who we really are from our perspective.”

Red Lake Nation News shared the ICT report.