River Raisin National Battlefield
Anishnaabek Journey Toward Understanding
$25,000 • Monroe
A team of 8 Michigan educators, National Park Service educational staff and Odawa historical experts embarked on an actual Journey Towards Understanding, together traveling the historic paths of native peoples to develop lesson plans and educational activities that teach American History through the eyes of the Anishnaabek (Odawa, Ojibway and Potawatomi) of the Great Lakes. During the first year of the project, a minimum of 500 elementary and junior high students in three Michigan counties pilot tested the lesson plans and participated in educational activities to broaden student understanding of America’s struggle with racial equity, social justice and conflict resolution relating to American Indians. Target student populations included American Indian students in Emmet County and underserved minority students in priority schools located in Monroe and Wayne Counties. The metro Detroit area has the highest percentage of native people in Michigan, making it a prime location to focus the project. Emmet County is the homeland of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe, making it another ideal location. Upon successful completion of the pilot program the educational materials, curriculum and lesson plans were made available to all schools throughout the State of Michigan through Social Studies professional development networks and nationally through the National Park Service.