Next summer, 25 schoolteachers will embark on a 550-mile expedition along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to uncover new knowledge: how to better integrate Native American histories into their curriculum.
The trip is part of an initiative led by the UO’s Stephanie Wood to help educators create a more balanced and judicious approach to the nation’s history by weaving the experiences of indigenous peoples into their teaching. Wood, a research associate in the College of Education, was awarded $179,247 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the Discovering Native Histories Along the Lewis and Clark Trail summer institute.
The institute will draw from seminars, an immersive trip along the historic trail and meetings with tribes to help participants deepen and reframe the Lewis and Clark story.
“Lewis and Clark remain iconic figures in America’s history of discovering and settling the West, but there’s a story that doesn’t get told about the indigenous points of view about the coming of the Europeans,” Wood said. “This educational journey will help teachers better understand indigenous experiences and perspectives and bring greater balance into their classrooms.”
The three-week summer institute will begin in Billings, Montana, and conclude in Bismarck, North Dakota. Moving west to east will allow participants to imagine the position of the first peoples as settlers approached their land.