Turtle Island


indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island














sea turtle migration patterns physical cultures maps  

The land tells a story and Indigenous peoples of the world especially know this fact. Teachers like to teach about land in the form of geography, geology and how the land influences mankind. In fact, humans would not make certain decisions about how to live if it were not for the land and where they are located. Humans also make decisions about the land based on resources, availability, the aesthetic appeal and many other reasons.

Furthermore, Indigenous people have been sharing the wisdom learned from the land and by the land with their descendants for thousands of years. The storytelling becomes a key piece of identity for each Indigenous group and how we all share in the story makes a difference.

Non-Natives have been interested in the storytelling that accompanies every Indigenous tribe. How the Non-Natives have gathered the stories has been a subject of intense review due to the lack of ethics and concern for the feelings of the Natives. Is it a Non-Natives right to aquire the stories which are cultural artifacts for these people and then profit from the results or worse get the story wrong?

Therefore, the Essential Question posed throughout this website for educators, students and interested readers is: How does one learn the stories and the cultures of Indigenous people in a manner that does not threaten their personal and tribal identity thereby maintaining a level of assimilation and mutual respect?

Each of the panels located above connects to a specific page in this website.

Suggested lessons regarding sources and explanations are listed on each web page.

Special recognition to the people at the K-12 Study CanadaK-12 Study Canada (the outreach arm of the USDOE Pacific Northwest National Resource Center on Canada) and its annual Study Canada Summer Institute for K-12 Educators. I participated in this study group the summer of 2012 in Ottawa, Canada and the material learned there regarding First Nations, Metis and Inuits spilled over into the research completed for this project at NEH. There are many annotated websites, resources and teacher lesson plans on file at this site regarding all things about Canada.

Finally, much gratitude and acknowledgement to the National Endowment for the Humanities and their funding for this summer institute which was was directed by Professors Neal Salisbury and Alice Nash and held at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The summer scholars participated from all grade levels and from across the Unted States and Somoa.


NEH native American Studies Group 2013 at Mohegan Tribal Office
Summer Scholars for NEH Summer Institute: Native Americans of New England, A Historical Overview.
Photo taken at Mohegan Tribal Offices by Joe Smith, Manager of Tribal Communications.


This site was created by Diana T. Mackiewicz at the NEH Summer Institute "Native Americans of New England: A Historical Overview," administered by the Five Colleges, Inc. and held at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA, Summer 2013. Last updated August, 2013.