From The National Native American Hall of Fame.
Nov 12, 2020.

GREAT FALLS — The National Native American Hall of Fame announces the launch of its “Inspirational Leadership” Education Curriculum from its display on the National Mall, across from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. 

“In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, we are proud to offer lesson plans, posters, and interview videos on current Hall of Fame inductees to schools across the country,” stated James Parker Shield, CEO, and founder of the National Native American Hall of Fame. 

The National Native American Hall of Fame was established in 2016 to recognize and honor the inspirational achievements of Native Americans. The Hall of Fame has inducted iconic contemporary and historic Native figures such as Cherokee leader Wilma Mankiller, Pulitzer Prize winner N. Scott Momaday, and Olympic gold medalist, Jim Thorpe, to name a few. 

An integral part of the Hall of Fame’s mission is to educate the public about contemporary indigenous people and exemplary individuals by shedding light on the lives and stories of Native peoples’ struggles and triumphs beyond what is taught in history books about 18th century Indians. 

Shield has commissioned curricular materials — the first of which is a set of ten lesson plans developed for grades 4-12. Teachers can download lesson plans for use in the classroom. Fourteen more lesson plans will be available by the end of December. In addition, 250 Hall of Fame posters depicting all 24 current inductees are being distributed to schools, Native organizations, tribal colleges, and universities across Indian Country. Both the lesson plans and the poster can be found on the website at 

Shield founded the Hall of Fame to push back on negative stereotypes and the lack of positive information about Native people. “For too long, there has been too little known about the many amazing Native women and men who have blazed trails and reached the pinnacle in their fields, whether arts, sports, or scholarship,” said Shield. 

The curriculum highlights historic feats of Native women leaders such as Ada Deer, who defended her people, and saved the Menominee tribe from termination, and Vine Deloria Jr. considered the leading Native intellectual figure of the 20th century. 

“Today, in order to raise greater awareness of the Hall of Fame, its inductees, and our education curriculum, we have set up a 20-foot long display on the National Mall,” said Hall of Fame Board President Walter Lamar. “We are here to remind the public that Native Americans are not invisible or stuck in the past. We share the stories of these Native Hall of Famers to illustrate the many contributions and accomplishments made by Native people. These lessons can be used in schools across the country to inspire Native and non-Native children to excel, make a difference, and succeed.” 

The Native American Hall of Fame has held two induction ceremonies, but this year, due to the pandemic, the 2020 ceremony was canceled. The next induction ceremony will be held on November 6, 2021, at the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.