Indigenous American Resources

  1. At My School
  2. Music Workshop
  3. Native Land
  4. Crow | The Legend
  5. Ojibwe Powwow Dancing
  6. Powwow Dancing
  7. Hoop Dance from Winnepeg Canada
  8. Powwow Child Grass Dancer

There is no single American Indian culture or language. Researching tribes in your own area is the best way to learn about and honor Native Americans. Each tribe has its own unique traditions, history, and terminology.

At My School

When we know better, we do better.

Doing better was researching my local tribes. I did Google searches and searched on YouTube. I eventually found a YouTube video that was of a powwow in my area with a link to a culture bearer. I was able to contact that person and after some conversations back and forth, he gave me a drumming piece.

My guidelines from him were the same as what I read everywhere, that teaching without background, meaning, and significance is wrong. I’ve never shared this resource because my conversations back and forth with the culture bearer were like a mini-workshop and allowed me to learn from him all about the above-mentioned particulars.

When I brought the activity to the kids, it was with all of the information that I had been given and was a meaningful learning experience for them. I’m forever grateful that he took the time, trusted me, and gave me this precious part of his tribe’s culture.

Music Workshop

This is a (free) subscriber site and has full lesson plans, videos, and resources.

Native Land

Information about Native lands and Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages including a teacher guide, searchable map, and other resources.

Crow | The Legend

Crow: The Legend is an exciting new animated movie starring John Legend as Crow, the most popular and admired animal in the forest with his magnificent colors and beautiful voice. But when the very first winter arrives, can Crow make the ultimate sacrifice to save his friends?

Inspired by the original Native American legend, this story of sacrifice and community features Randy Edmonds, Kiowa-Caddo tribal elder and founder of the National Urban Indian Council as Narrator and Sarah Eagle Heart, CEO of Native Americans in Philanthropy, as Luna.

Ojibwe Powwow Dancing

A tutorial on the dress and steps and meaning in powwow dancing.

Powwow Dancing

A short demonstration by a young dancer with information on the regalia, meaning, and steps of powwow dancing.

Hoop Dance from Winnepeg Canada

Not sure of the tribe but this reiterates the one-two steps in the powwow dance above along with hoops, accompanied by drum and singer.

Powwow Child Grass Dancer

From the Manito Ahbee Festival, the site says, “The Manito Ahbee sacred site is located in the western Whiteshell area of Manitoba.  Manito Ahbee, an Ojibway word means, “where the Creator sits.” The site is recognized and honoured by Indigenous peoples across North America as a sacred place for all people. The name of the province, Manitoba, is itself derived from the name of this sacred site.”

Songs and Dances From Culture Bearers and Authentic Sources

It’s been eye-opening to find that much of the music I used in my 40-year career was NOT authentic and/or had a questionable past. Unfortunately, many educators are still using these same songs and dances. This page is my aim to give you resources that I’ve researched or from sources who aim to research with the same authentic goal. However…

…our job requires much more than the planning time we are given. In your haste to get things done, don’t trust someone’s say-so, even mine. Always do your research.

On this GROWING resource page…

French-Canadian Traditional Music

Use of the most common traditional rhythm by the ancestors from Quebec is the podorythmie & cuillères (foot tapping & spoons). The music is Reel Turluté performed by La Bolduc. La Bolduc was a famous French-Canadian singer.

The singing technique is called jigging.

West Africa

Sona Jobarteh, Gambia, West Africa, and the Kora

Sona Jobarteh has become one of the most renowned kora players in the world, an instrument that traditionally was only played by men. The kora is an instrument of West Africa and dates back to the 13th-century Mali empire.

Sona’s academy focused on learning through Gambian culture, not a colonial focus. Lots of info here on Gambian music and arts culture.


Global Variety

A. Cuthbertson Consulting-Authentic Resources in the Classroom

This website is dedicated to culturally responsive music and lesson plans for your classroom. A. Cuthbertson’s site has music from many different cultures.


Bhangra – Dance of the Punjab with Gurdeep Pandher

Native Land

Information about Native lands and Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages including a teacher guide, searchable map, and other resources.


Aboriginal Australian Songlines

Some authentic sources for songlines, art, and music.

Latinx Heritage Resources

For any time of the year, but collated for Latinx Hispanic Heritage Month, a growing group of resources.

Black History Resources

For any time of the year, but collated for Black History Month, a growing group of resources.

Literature With Cultural Variety

A growing list of literature for the music classroom with a wide variety of cultures represented.