Every Year, Millions of Children are Taught Lies About the History of Thanksgiving. It's Time to Change That.

  • by: Care2 Team
  • recipient: U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona
For many kids in the U.S. enrolled in K-12, Thanksgiving is the only time during the school year where they learn about Native American history. Yet for decades, Indigenous people have been calling attention to the wildly ignorant and inaccurate stories that are taught to school children about the history of the United States.

Sign now to demand: Improve indigenous history education now!

Curriculum standards vary wildly by state, but even some of the best schools in the country overlook or oversimplify the rich and diverse history of Native American people on the continent. In the best case scenarios, students are offered an incomplete depiction of historical events. In the worst case examples, students are encouraged to engage in cultural appropriation -- think construction paper headdresses and mocking chants -- and are taught widely-debunked myths about the kindness the pilgrims displayed to the "indians." Both are inaccurate and shameful. These stories not only erase the violent history of settler colonialism in the United States, they also fail to teach children about the vibrant cultures of our country's native people who still exist today.

In Nebraska, some people are trying to change this failure of our educational system. Local educators met to evaluate new social studies curriculum standards for bias. Together, these teachers worked to ensure that often disregarded perspectives were included in future standards. The state's new guidelines include not just better Native American history, but information about the Stonewall Riots, strikes led by migrant farm workers, and many other examples centered not exclusively on the experiences of white people.

We must follow the lead of Nebraska and Indigenous leaders and demand that all state legislatures include accurate and representative history. The only way to move our country forward is to properly educate our children -- and make sure we reckon with all of our nation's history, not just some of it. 

Tell U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona: we demand better curriculum standards! Improve indigenous history education now!

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