Native Knowledge 360° Summer Educator Institute

To Support Effective Education about American Indians
2017 Topic: American Indian Removal

July 10–14, 2017
National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C.

Join scholars, education experts, and Native community members for a unique and immersive professional development experience for educators in social studies, history, or language arts. Native Knowledge 360° (NK360°) is a national education initiative to inspire and promote improved teaching about American Indians and represents the foundation of the National Museum of the American Indian’s work to transform popular understandings of Native history, cultures, and contemporary lives. The NK360° Summer Educator Institute features new inquiry-based approaches, resources, and perspectives to support improved teaching about American Indians.

The NK360° Institute is a pilot project funded through a Smithsonian Institution Youth Access Grant to provide an in-depth teacher training experience focusing on the scope and impact of removal on Native Nations before, during, and after the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830 during Andrew Jackson's presidency. The Institute provides foundational information about American Indians and supports effective use of a new online interactive lesson, "American Indian Removal: What Does It Mean to Remove a People?" This program is designed for middle- and high-school educators in the region of the United States most impacted by removal, specifically the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Participants partake in scholarly lectures and discussions, tour the NMAI's collections, and work with museum staff, Native scholars, and education experts throughout the week. Proposed faculty includes:

  • Kevin Gover, Director, NMAI
  • Dr. Mark Hirsch, Historian, NMAI
  • Dr. Duane King, Executive Director and Walter H. Helmerich Chair, Helmerich Center for American Research, and Vice President for Museum Affairs, University of Tulsa
  • Dr. Kathy Swan, Director, Next Generation Teacher Preparation at the University of Kentucky, and co-founder of C3 Teachers
  • Erin Adams, Director, Education and Interpretation, Andrew Jackson's Hermitage
  • Dr. Debbie Reese, Editor and Publisher, American Indians in Children's Literature
  • Edwin Schupman, Manager of National Education, NMAI

Institute goals:

  • Support educators in their efforts to purposefully and mindfully teach about American Indian culture and history.
  • Provide attendees with engaging and relevant tools and resources to teach about American Indian removal.
  • Inspire teachers to utilize NK360° lessons as catalysts for inquiry-based learning and informed action and civic engagement.
  • Found a dedicated community of teachers to work with and advocate for the NMAI's NK360° educational approach to Native American histories, cultures, and contemporary lives.

Travel and Honorarium

There is no cost to participate in the NK360° Institute.

Each selected educator will receive an honorarium of $2000 in recognition of his/her participation in the Institute. Upon receipt of the final project (fall 2017) as outlined in the Institute requirements, participants will receive an additional $500 honorarium.

Participants are responsible for arranging and paying for their own transportation and housing. Suggestions for housing options will be shared upon selection; participants may also explore alternatives.

Participant Expectations and Requirements

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Teach or work with students in grades six through twelve in a school located in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, or Tennessee. Educators from Title I schools are encouraged to apply.
  • Agree to participate in the full five days of the Institute and be dedicated to partake fully in the formal and informal collegial life of this project.
  • Undertake a post-Institute project, such as a unique lesson or activity, to share with colleagues.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to support excellent classroom education.


Applications are being accepted from classroom teachers, librarians, curriculum or content coordinators, and school administrators in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Educators from Title I schools are encouraged to apply.

summer educator institute application link

Applications must be submitted online by midnight, April 14, 2017.

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by May 15, 2017.

Questions about this program should be directed to

This project is supported with Smithsonian Institution funds from the Youth Access Grants Program.