The text used in this online book study targets high school student and adult readers; however, teachers of all grades and content areas will build background knowledge and learn instructional strategies that will facilitate the integration of Indian Education for All. Participants will read and review the Essential Understandings of Montana Indians and the book, There There by Tommy Orange. The primary text follows twelve characters from Native communities: all travelling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to each other in ways they might not yet realize.  Readers will analyze how cultures and identities comingle; how storytelling and memory are indispensable parts of Native American culture and tradition; and how Native culture has been alienated from its roots through years and years of forced relocation and assimilation. Readers will gain an understanding of the pain, suffering, and generational trauma indigenous peoples have endured because of a cultural history marked by oppression, violence, and attempted genocide. The Essential Understandings Regarding Montana Indians will serve as a guide for critical analysis of There There.


Through readings, examinations of high-quality and authentic literature and teaching materials, participants will explore a variety of literature and professional teaching materials and develop instructional strategies, a lesson plan and a final project for the immediate integration of IEFA into their classrooms (two projects if seeking graduate credit).


Required Text

Orange, T. (2018). There there. New York: Vintage Books.

Content Warning: This book contains racial slurs, expletives and gun violence that may be harmful to some readers.